Mira Wine - Napa Valleys "Marvelous" Newcomer
One of Napa Valley’s most exciting, under-the-radar newcomers is Mira Winery. With a name inspired by the Latin root of “miracle” and Greek for “destiny,” Mira is a family owned, 16-acre boutique luxury estate in Yountville, the heart of the Napa Valley. Guided by the perfect proportions of the “Golden Ratio” in every aspect from building to barrel, this innovative winery’s aim is to farm sustainably, use 100% Napa Valley fruit, make the wines in the gentlest, most natural way possible and then let the wine reveal itself as a pure voice of Napa.
Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez has both extensive global winegrowing experience and a 25-year, deep local knowledge of Napa terroir, having worked across every AVA of the Napa Valley. At Mira, he shapes small blocks of sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties, Pinot Noir, Syrah and even the rare Sauvignon Gris into limited allocations of single-vineyard, single-varietal Napa Valley wines. In late 2022, Mira will release the first wines from its own estate vineyard, by allocation only.
Miracles happen every day in a variety of ways both small and large: From the growing season that produces the grapes, to a chance meeting, to sometimes just getting through a day. Mira’s miraculous journey began with a chance encounter one spring evening in 2005, when entrepreneur Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr. walked into the Off the Record bar at DC’s Hay Adams hotel, where Gustavo was having a beer. “I had just finished hosting a winemaker dinner,” recalls Gustavo. “I was talking with the bartender when Bear walked in and we struck up a conversation.” The two discovered a shared love of wine while Gustavo discussed his fascination with mathematics, in particular the perfect beauty of the Golden Ratio and its relationship to the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical concept used at least since the ancient Greeks and Egyptians that is expressed in nature, architecture, art and even the stock market.
Gustavo noted that while he was happy as the head red winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery, “Like a lot of winemakers we all dream of having our own little side project.” He explained how it doesn’t take infrastructure or a big investment to get started, just relationships that give you access to high quality fruit and a nearby custom crush facility. “I had heard plenty of stories about how difficult the wine business can be, so Gustavo’s perspective was surprising to me,” says Bear. “And Gustavo is such a deep talent, so real and passionate, that it left me wondering if this could be something special.” A few hours and a few glasses of wine later, the two new friends parted with the idea of starting a winery together someday.
Gustavo and Bear’s dream sprang to life in 2009 with the serendipitous purchase of coveted fruit from Hyde Vineyard in Carneros, soon followed by Cabernet Sauvignon from the venerable, 100+ year-old Schweizer Vineyard in Stag’s Leap District. In 2016, the Dyke family purchased a 16-acre plot of land in Yountville that was first planted to wine grapes in 1885. There they built Mira Winery and Hospitality House, with the Golden Ratio’s perfect proportions incorporated into everything from the design of the buildings and landscaping to the size of barrels and tanks. The property opened to visitors in late 2019.
A particularly stunning example is embodied in the gleaming wooden egg-shaped fermenter called Ovum. Fibonacci’s principles not only create beauty on the outside but in this case also allow for the fermentation to mix itself inside the egg naturally, without the human intervention of punch downs. Tonnellerie Taransaud makes only two of these works of art per year and of the 12 in existence, Mira is the only winery in the Americas to receive one.
Mira Winery and Hospitality House welcomes visitors by appointment to its Yountville estate, where every season offers the alchemy of water, soil, sun and vine transforming into a miracle. To experience the estate is to walk the Golden Ratio, savor Mira’s single-vineyard, single-varietal wines in an intimate, relaxed natural setting and gain an in-depth understanding of why this one-of-a-kind vineyard is the starting point for Mira’s never-ending pursuit of miracles.