Mira Winery, a producer of critically acclaimed wines exclusively from Napa Valley, announced today that it had retrieved seven cases of the winery’s Rutherford Cabernet and one case of Chardonnay, a fraction of the winery’s total production, as it extends its commitment to innovation.
As part of that effort, Mira will join forces with Cause of Action, a national, nonpartisan government accountability organization, to fight back against government overreach that threatens to stifle Mira’s Aquaoir experiment.
“Our commitment to innovation extends beyond ocean aged wine with the opening of our Napa Valley Education Center and Tasting Room in Charleston, SC and the historic allocation of Schweizer Vineyard Cabernet from the heart of Stags Leap District in Napa Valley.”
– Mira President Jim Dyke, Jr.
For the last two years, Mira Winery has been experimenting with the new process – Aquaoir – aging wine in ocean waters. This process holds the potential to revolutionize the way the industry thinks about aging. To date, the experiment has been conducted in three phases, all 60 feet beneath the Charleston Harbor followed by a blind tasting of the ocean aged wine versus the same wine aged on land. Data is collected and the wine is then analyzed against the same wine aged on land. As previously scheduled, Mira retrieved the wine from the harbor today where it had been for six months.
“We have been sensitive to the need to protect the wine from the beginning and today provides further proof. The wax seal over the corks is not degraded so the corks are protected,” said Dyke. “We will chemically analyze the wine like we have in the past. However, at this time we will respect the current directive from government officials and won’t sell or taste the wine.”
The winery plans to place eight more cages back into the harbor again in November for six months. Limits on the ability to taste the wine will needlessly delay insights into the magic that the ocean might hold for aging wine. Unfortunately, as Dyke wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, the federal government is trying to end the experiment.
Mira has partnered with Cause of Action. The legal non-profit group will provide counsel as Mira tries to understand the government’s intentions and resolve the issue. Mira has filed additional requests based on the Freedom of Information Act. The findings of these requests will inform next steps.
Mira began as a partnership between Gustavo Gonzalez, whose 20-year winemaking career started in a winery lab and led him to be head red Winemaker for Robert Mondavi Winery, and Dyke whose 20-year political career started with parking cars in the Senate Parking lot and led him to the White House. Expert reviewer Steve Heimoff noted, “Winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez left Robert Mondavi to do his own thing, and what an auspicious start … The wine is wonderful.”
More information about Mira Winery can be found at MiraNapa.com.