“Next up was G.H. Mumm, which inaugurated its top-secret ‘Project. Lafayette’ in 1979. Mumm Napa’s senior winemaker, the late Guy Devaux, quietly began…experimenting with grapes from California, Washington, Oregon and even New York. Napa’s terroir won out, and the first wine was released in 1986.”

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“The halls at Mumm Napa’s headquarters are lined with Ansel Adams prints and windows that overlook its robot-assisted bottling line. It was sited not amid its prime vineyards…but in a tourist-friendly spot on the Silverado Trail. At 220,000 cases annually, among some 17 different blends, it remains the most willing of the French-owned houses to tailor to American consumers’ tastes.”

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“Of the four (sparkling wine houses), Mumm Napa maintains the most obviously consumer-driven approach. Just after the millennium, (they) determine(d) what flavors would win over non-bubbly drinkers. The answer? Peaches and cream. So was born Cuvee M, a soft-edged, slightly off-dry wine dosed with late-harvest Muscat, a dash of red wine for a peach tint ….‘That’s something you could not do in Champagne,’
Dervin says. ‘But we tried it here and people embraced it.’”
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