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George C. 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. Daniel Baron became general manager of Dominus in the 1980s. 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.
Ulysses Vineyard was purchased by Christian in 2008 from Clark Swanson (former proprietor of Swanson Vineyards). In 2016 Dominus released it’s first ever vintage (the 2012) of the ULYSSES wine from the Ulysses Vineyard located along the western bench land of Oakville – at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains. This vineyard is about a mile north of Dominus. The wines are made at Dominus; however the Ulysses wines are not sold direct to consumer – rather are available through select retail and online outlets.
Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, or JP Moueix, is a Bordeaux négociant house founded by Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1937, situated on the Quai du Priourat in Libourne, in the Bordeaux wine region of France. While dealing in wholesale distribution of numerous Right Bank wines, the company also acts as a bulk grape merchant, operates exclusive distribution for select châteaux, and manages its own portfolio of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion estates. The company has 120 employees.
Since Jean-Pierre Moueix began investing in properties of the region in the early 1950s, the company grew to become highly influential in the French wine market, and was instrumental in the rise of the reputation of the Pomerol region. The early purchase of the Saint-Émilion estate Château Magdelainein 1952 and the acquisitions of Pomerol La Fleur-Pétrus in 1950 and châteaux Trotanoy, Lagrangein 1953, while the gradual acquisition of Pétruswas begun in 1961, followed by the assuming the farming of Château Latourà Pomerol in 1962. In 1930 his father, Jean Moueix, had already bought the Saint-Émilion property, Château Fonroque. Later additions to the Moueix portfolio include the Napa valley property Dominus Estate, the Pomerol châteaux Hosannaand Providence, and complete ownership of the Saint-Émilion estate Château Belairthen renamed Chateau Bélair-Monange.
Jean-Pierre Moueix retired in 1978 and died in 2003. In 1991 his son Christian Moueix became president of JP Moueix, while the grandson Edouard Moueix in the company since 2003 is today Deputy General Manager .
We had the pleasure to meet Christian Moueix in an extraordinary vertical tasting of La Fleur-Pétrus organized by WSET Greece. One word is engraved in my mind after that session: “Balance”.
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