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Opus One

The famous winery is located in AVA Oakville in Napa Valley, California. The vineyards cover 110 hectares. It was founded as a 50:50 joint venture by wine legends Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) and Robert Mondavi (1913-2008) in 1979 with the aim of producing a Bordeaux-style wine in California. The idea was born by the two already in 1970 during a meeting in Hawaii. According to eyewitness reports, the concept was fixed within an hour at a meeting in Bordeaux in 1978. But the name "Opus One" was not fixed until 1983. The first experimental red wine production was carried out in 1979 by Lucien Sionneau of Château Mouton-Rothschild and Thimothy Mondavi. The wine was made from the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Cabernet Franc (16%) and Merlot (4%) and aged for 24 months in 100% new barriques. Between 1979 and 2001, the proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon ranged from 80% to 97%, which is roughly equivalent to a classic Bordeaux blend from the left bank of the Gironde. The duration of ageing in barriques ranged from 15 to 24 months. This information is published on the Opus One website

The 1979 and 1980 vintages were officially presented together in 1984. In 1991 a new winery was completed, until then the wine was produced in the "Robert Mondavi Winery" across the road opposite. Over the years, the vineyards have been constantly expanded to their current size through additional purchases. Opus One is one of California's most outstanding and expensive wines and is marketed in 65 countries worldwide. For a bottle of the 1979 founding vintage, 2,500 dollars had to be paid at an auction in 1995. Current vintages today cost around 150 to 200 dollars. Older vintages are among the best and most expensive wines in the world. Special vintages are, for example, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The latter is called the wine of the century. It was assembled from Cabernet Sauvignon (86%), Cabernet Franc (8%), Merlot (3%) and Malbec (3%). Through the sale of the entire Mondavi empire in December 2004, Opus One also came into the possession of the US beverage multinational Constellation Brands.

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