Last month, Napa Valley wine consultant Paula Kornell introduced the inaugural vintage of her Napa Valley Blanc de Noir, carrying on the work of her father, legendary sparkling winemaker Hanns Kornell.
Kornell worked closely with her father at the family winery Kornell Champagne Cellars, established in 1958 and among the first in California to produce sparkling wine using the traditional method. Through a range of wines, Hanns Kornell helped generate domestic interest in sparkling wine — at that time called Champagne by most American producers. Kornell’s experience and knowledge gained through her father’s tutelage, as well as her mother’s love of sharing stories, food, and wine, are the stimulus behind Paula Kornell sparkling wines: a focus on authenticity and tradition from grape to bottle.
“This is truly a dream realized,” Kornell said. “Carrying on the family tradition is something I’ve thought about and worked towards for some time, and I believe that my parents would be proud to see the legacy finally come to fruition.”
The launch of her own wine brand follows Kornell’s more than 30 years’ experience in the wine industry, including a term as president of the Napa Valley Vintners board and as board member for nine years.
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Vintage Wine Estates, a family of independent wineries and producers throughout Napa, Sonoma and the Pacific Northwest, will partner with Kornell to bring the Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine to market.
Assisting Kornell with winemaking is Robin Akhurst, winemaker at Vintage Wine Estates since 2015.
Following the launch of the 2017 Napa Valley Blanc de Noir Méthode Champenoise last month, Kornell plans to release a California Sparkling Wine Méthode Champenoise in the spring.