Recent Press & Accolades
Does the Concept of Cellar Terroir Actually Exist?
"Laura Diaz Munoz, winemaker and general manager at Ehlers Estate, explains that the microbiota (yeasts and bacteria) on tank surfaces, barrels, and winemaking tools can play a crucial role. One example is through yeasts and fermentation. “The yeast present in the cellar is normally more resistant and prevalent than yeasts present in the vineyards,” she explains. Studies have proven that fermentations can start with the yeast from the vineyard. Still, the cellar population can take over quickly and surpass in quantity — and therefore, have a bigger impact on the wine’s profile and fermentation behavior."
Wineries Embrace Worms in the Fight to Conserve Water
"Laura Díaz Muñoz, winemaker and general manager at Ehlers Estate in Napa Valley, is passionate about worms. They factor deeply into the notable focus on sustainability at Ehlers, a 130-year-old, certified-organic, family-owned property. It all begins with water.
“We’re installing a new water treatment system that uses worms to process the wastewater, and I’m really excited about it,” Díaz Muñoz says. “It will allow us to treat all the wastewater we use in our facility without chemicals and produce water that’s clean enough to irrigate the vineyards and the landscaping.”
Wine Press: Five reasons why you should drink California merlot
"One of my favorite merlots of the five recommended this week, this beautiful, well-balanced wine has a wonderful, smooth finish that gently brings to life its subtle fruit flavors and aromas, which include distinct plum notes along with hints of blackberry and raspberry. There’s not a sharp edge in this well-rounded wine that definitely stands out in a crowd."
9 Women Who Changed the Wine World
"A Spaniard, she found more opportunities for female winemakers in the New World.
As a university student in Madrid, Laura Diaz Muñoz was concentrating her studies in an area known as Food Science and Technology. But when a teacher asked if anyone was interested in wine, she raised her hand. “The other [options] sounded boring,” Munoz says. “I didn’t want to be in a lab in a bread company. Wine sounded romantic and adventurous.”"
St Helena 2019: the top Cabernets from this Napa AVA
September 15, 2022
"Situated at the narrowest point in the Napa Valley hourglass, the St Helena AVA tends to be warmer with less wind flow – and in 2019 seems to have benefited from the wet winter and cooler spring.
"The clear standout is the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon 1886, another St. Helena Cabernet from this team aged 22 months in 65% new French oak. Deep purple-hued, with ample black and almost blue fruits, it’s full-bodied, has a round, seamless, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and complex notes of spicy wood, dried herbs, and chocolate. Drink bottles any time over the coming 15+ years."
Amid Smoke and Climate Change, Napa Embraces an Imperfect Red Grape
“Our Petit Verdot is approachable and very complex and aromatic, with a more floral profile,” says Laura Diaz Munoz, winemaker and general manager of Ehlers Estate in St. Helena, California. “It is true that Petit Verdot, like Syrah, has a propensity to express smoke taint even at lower levels of exposure, as they produce and accumulate the same compounds even when not exposed to smoke.”
7 Best Winery Tours in Napa Valley
August 4, 2022
"Ehlers Estate has a long history in Napa Valley dating back to the late 1800s, when Bernard Ehlers purchased the vineyard that bears his name today. Now owned by the Leducq Foundation, established by the winery’s second owners and philanthropists Jean and Syviane Leducq to provide research in cardiovascular disease and stroke, Ehlers is a place not only known for elegant wines produced from Bordeaux varieties, but also for giving back."
Patiently Proactive: Laura Díaz Is Reshaping Ehlers Estate
"A new winemaking regimen, revamped cellar, fine-tuned viticulture and a replanting project are pushing this Napa Cabernet house into new territory
“I’m still learning,” says Laura Diaz, who has a quiet, calm air about her. “And one of the things I am learning is, sometimes it’s better to wait.”
Diaz, a Madrid native who came to the U.S. in 2007 as an intern and wound up working 10 years with winemaker Chris Carpenter at Lokoya, specializing in Napa Cabernets from mountain AVAs. Now she’s in charge of the winemaking at Ehlers Estate, located squarely on the valley floor at the northern end of St. Helena."
Winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz Brings Spanish Influence to Napa Valley
"Madrid native Laura Diaz Muñoz is bringing Old World flavor to the Napa Valley, creating wines that are expressive of the terroir in California. Given her Spanish upbringing, it comes as no surprise that Muñoz’s early sensory memories center around family and food. These rich experiences led her to pursue a degree in food science at the University of Madrid, until a post-grad harvest internship shifted her interest toward wine. But a career change was no small task in the male-dominated field of winemaking."
Laura Díaz Muñoz: An unexpected journey to Napa
Mira Adavni Honeycutt
January 6, 2022
"Napa Valley has lured many young winemakers from across the globe. But in the case of Laura Díaz Muñoz the trip to Napa was meant only to be a brief sidestep before moving on.
The young Spanish-born winemaker arrived in Napa in 2007 at Cardinale to intern with Napa’s noted winemaker Chris Carpenter. “I came from New Zealand to work one harvest here,” said Díaz Muñoz, who is now winemaker and general manager at Ehlers Estate. She was, in fact, on her way to Argentina after the Napa harvest. She never made it.
“Chris offered me a job,” Díaz Muñoz said, meeting at the cozy tasting room of Ehlers Estate in St. Helena. (Following the Spanish tradition, she goes by both her mother and father’s last names.) Even then her thought was to stay in Napa maybe a couple of years. “I didn’t think it would last this long,” she confessed with amusement."
12 Best Wineries in Napa Valley to Visit Now
"They say early birds catch the worm, but early risers at Ehlers Estate will catch the first pours of the day while they watch the mist lift from the vineyard—and that sounds a whole lot better to us. Morning tastings take place at 9:30 a.m., when the vineyard is at its quietest and most serene. You’ll feel like you have the entire valley to yourself as you arrive to find freshly baked croissants awaiting you. Knowledgeable tour guides will then pour five current releases and share stories about the history of the property..."
The Best Wine Clubs for Pros and Casual Drinkers Alike
September 13, 2021
"The historic Napa Valley winery Ehlers Estate offers one of the most robust winery club experiences in California wine country, according to Samantha Weiss-Hills, Deputy Editor of Commerce for SAVEUR and Domino. “Winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz is making some of the best Cabernet Franc I’ve tasted this side of the Atlantic,” says Weiss-Hills, noting that Díaz Muñoz is also making an interesting Petit Verdot varietal. Ehlers Estate offers three different wine club experiences ranging in shipment size and selection theme, but our personal pick is the Cellar Allocation."
Ehlers Estate 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Really solid, this red has a brambly edge, with plum, blackberry and red currant preserve notes showing good energy, thanks in part to a buried sassafras streak, all backed by a roasted apple wood- and licorice snap-fueled finish. Drink now through 2030."
Ehlers Estate 2018 Cabernet Franc
"Rock solid, there's a nice hint of tobacco leaf running along the edges of a core of fresh and vivid red and black currant fruit, while subtle singed wood and warm earth accents fill in underneath. Shows nice loamy grip at the end. Drink now through 2030."
August/September 2021 Buying Guide
Ehlers Estate 2020 Sauvignon Blanc
"This elegant white was aged in stainless steel, neutral French oak and concrete egg, with just a hint of newer oak. Juicy in pear, lime and wet stone, it offers well-integrated acidity and brightness throughout, with a slate-like texture and hints of baking spice and herb."
10 Enchanting California Sauvignon Blancs Up to 92 Points
"This fragrant version offers bright Meyer lemon flavors on a sleek core, showing honeysuckle, peach blossom and ripe melon notes, with mouthwatering acidity and details of candied lemon peel on the finish. Drink now. 900 cases made.—M.W. 92 points"
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A Winemaker With Spanish Roots Makes Bordeaux-Inspired Wine in Napa
May 2, 2020
"Wine is a global commodity, but also a vehicle for exploring and expressing the world’s traditions, cultures and nuances.
Few embody this fact better than Laura Díaz Muñoz, who was born and studied enology in Madrid, then went on to hone her technical winemaking skills in terroirs across Europe, New Zealand and South America. She helped launch Galerie Wines for Jackson Family Wines in 2012, and then joined Ehlers Estate in Napa."
13 Superb New Sauvignon Blancs to Drink This Spring
April 26, 2021
"A combination of neutral oak, concrete egg and a new French puncheon were employed in making this steal of an SB from Ehlers. Wet-stone freshness opens along with citrus that leans in the lime direction, with hints of white blossoms wafting from the glass as well. There’s a lovely balance of mouth-feel and texture here with brightness and vividness. Lemon, grapefruit and white peach get a little splash of orange on the finish. This is one to drink all summer long."
The New Merlots In The Market
October 3, 2020
Ehlers Estate Merlot 2017 ($55)—Another big Merlot, this one from St. Helena in Napa Valley. Blended from three different clones, it has more complexity than most from that region, and the 10% Cabernet Sauvignon gives it some spine, and 22 months in barrel harmonizes the whole of it. Sugar levels went high at first, then settled down, so this came out at 14.5%. Roast veal would be ideal with this wine. But at $55 it’s getting up near the top of Merlot prices in America.
Finding a Home Far From Their Homeland
"Hailing from Spain's bustling capital city, Madrid, winemaker and general manager Laura Díaz Muñoz of Ehlers Estate in St Helena became enchanted by wine during family vacations to Galicia, where she sipped Albariño with her father while watching the fishing boats."
Read the article - pg 20
These Are The 22 Most Beautiful Wineries in Napa Valley, According to Sommeliers
"As a sommelier, wine quality is also extremely important when thinking about wineries to visit," says Martin Sheehan-Stross, Chaine Des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier International 2016. "Ehlers bottles wines that are impeccably balanced. They are dense and rich, but also fragrant and spicy. The fact that the winery supports a great cause is really the cherry on the sundae.”
The Best Organic Wines on the Market Right Now
"In 2008, Ehlers Estate gained its organic certification in California. The 2017 is the most recent vintage of the winery’s 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is named after the year that Bernard Ehlers built the stone barn that remains standing today. The tasting notes for this wine include enticing flavors and aromas like cassis, wild blackberries, licorice, and tobacco leaf. $125"
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Ehlers Estate: Fine Wine and A Larger Purpose