Dominus Estate

Dominus Estate

Dominus Estate, formerly Napanook Vineyards, is a California wine estate producing Bordeaux style blends, owned by Christian Moueix. The winery is located in Yountville within the Napa Valley AVA.


George Yount, the founder of Yountville, planted in 1836 the first vines of the valley on the location of Napanook vineyard. In 1850 the property was bought by Charles Hopper, and owners since include Hugh La Rue, a pioneer in the use of rootstock and John Daniel Jr., the owner of Inglenook Winery who bought the estate in 1946.

Following Daniel's death in 1970, Napanook passed to his daughters Robin Lail and Marcia Smith who in 1982 began a partnership with Christian Moueix, acting on a recommendation by Robert Mondavi to establish production in Napa Valley. Moueix, also in charge of production at Château Pétrus and president of Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, became the sole owner of Dominus Estate when Lail and Smith sold their shares in 1995. Napanook, the estate's second wine, was first released in 1996.

With the previous thirteen vintages crushed and aged at the nearby facility Rombauer Winery, a new winery was constructed by the Swiss architects Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in 1996, a USD$5 million, structure. The architects' first U.S. project, it was designed to provide protection from scorching heat by day and the cold at night.


From an estate of , the vineyard area extends in 14 blocks, with some presence of phylloxera-resistant St. George rootstock from the Inglenook period, the grape varieties are 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

The annual production is 70,000 to 100,000 bottles (6,000 to 8,000 cases), half of which is bottled as Dominus and the remainder as Napanook.


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