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Maitre de Chai Sparkling Solera Michael Mara Vineyard MV

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From the producer: The Michael Mara Vineyard — planted in 2006 by Steve & Jill Klein Matthiasson — is a beautiful Chardonnay site just west of the town of Sonoma. This Traditional Method Sparkling Solera is a reserve blend of Chardonnay with components dating back to 2012 — our first vintage. The base wine was fermented with its native yeasts and after the second fermentation, was bottle aged for 24 months. Hand disgorged in July 2021. 1,260 bottles produced. Without question, after nine years in the making, this is the wine we are the most excited to release this fall. What started as the “Intern Project Chardonnay” in 2012 has culminated into a sparkling wine that is a blend of every vintage we have produced. In February of 2019, we tiraged roughly 100 cases, leaving behind about a single barrel to continue the Solera. With over a year and a half in bottle, the wine shows the beautiful autolytic character you'd expect. Meyer lemon tart and almond butter greet you on the nose with a palate of beeswax and tarte tatin, but the wine is driven by the acid and tannin characteristic of the Michael Mara vineyard. This bottle could easily age for 10+ years.


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After working in some of California’s top kitchens including Cyrus, Quince, and the French Laundry, two former chefs, Marty Winters and Alex Pitts, decided to trade in their whites and in 2012 they founded Maitre de Chai. Today, Alex and Marty are joined by their respective partners, Stephanie Pitts (all things web) and Jessica Force (creative director, tasting room), who have helped grow Maître de Chai into one of the most dynamic independent wineries in California.

Marty and Alex’s wine falls under what has been coined “The New California Wine”. Like others under that umbrella, they are taking a good dose of inspiration from California's centuries old winemaking traditions. But unlike many of their contemporaries, who tend to focus on esoteric varieties often planted in far off locals, they craft their wares from the varieties and regions that we associate with California’s vinous golden age; the 1970s. And like those wines they are looking for a certain sense of balance. That means lower alcohol, straightforward and honest winemaking with restrained fruit allowing the qualities of each of the phenomenal sites they work with to shine through.

They source all of their fruit from family growers, many of them multigenerational. Almost all of the fruit they work with is organic, much of it coming from old-vines. Working with such dedicated gower is the key to their success. After all, their calling card is an uncompromising commitment to sourcing only the highest quality fruit, a carryover from Alex and Marty’s ingredient-driven ethos as chefs. I and many others have said time and time again; the best wine is made in the vineyard.


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Crisp , Floral

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Full Bodied

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