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Enjoy a Bottle,
Save a Life
Montesquieu Winery has partnered with CNN Hero Doc Hendley, founder of the non-profit organization Wine to Water, and some of the top winemakers on earth in a quest to end the water crisis in the world. We proudly present our 4th wine in our Wine To Change The World Collection - Amazzi.
Change The World
Welcome to Montesquieu Winery
Montesquieu is a full-service wine group that connects wine lovers with the very best wines in the world. Domestically, we operate in the Burgundian negociant tradition, sourcing high quality juice from the top vineyards and handcrafting it into a finished wine, all with the utmost care and discrimination. Internationally, we work with growers and producers all over the world to import artisanal, terroir-driven wines for our clients.
The original Baron of Montesquieu – the philosopher and viticulturist Charles de Secondat – not only deeply influenced America's governmental structure with his famous treatise The Spirit of the Laws, but is also credited by many with the discovery of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, now the principal varietal in the greatest wines of Bordeaux and Napa. We are pleased to carry on the tradition of winemaking begun by the Baron himself on his Bordeaux estate in the 18th century.
Whether we're sourcing wine internationally or producing it locally, we are committed to getting our clients handcrafted, small-run, outstanding wines, each of which offers a unique taste of the good life. If you're among the fortunate few who have the opportunity to acquire these wines, we promise that you'll experience a true work of art.
Frequently Asked Questions
A negociant is a wine merchant who sources grapes and/or juice from smaller growers and winemakers, finishes the wine and sells it under its own label or labels. It's a time-tested model in France that has resulted in some of the world's most prestigious wines.
Not all negociants are equally discriminating. Negociants in Burgundy have developed an approach that focuses on terroir-driven, site specific, limited run wines, rather than high-volume, commercially driven wines.
Montesquieu seeks to emulate this Burgundian negociant approach, sourcing small batches of juice from domestic artisanal growers and fashioning each wine so as to express its unique terroir.
Yes, we do; most of the domestic wine we sell was crafted by us. We have a winery license and a full-time winemaker who resides in Napa.
Like many high-end wineries in California, we do not own our own vineyards. Instead, we leverage our longstanding relationships with top domestic growers to seek out some of the best small-batch juice from the most prestigious regions on the West Coast. We then finish each wine in such a way as to draw out its unique character and complexity.
Our winemaker, Camille Benitah, is thrilled to be crafting wines at a new, state-of-the-art facility owned by Arkenstone Winery, located in Napa's Eastern mountains. Located high up on Howell Mountain, the property boasts spectacular views of the valley floor and a stunning cave for aging wines built into the side of the mountain. We share the winemaking equipment and underground cellars with Arkenstone and several other smaller wineries.
We want each label to express the uniqueness of each wine we make. We work with so many different wines each year that it would be inaccurate and confusing to label them all as "Montesquieu".
Each unique label indicates a unique wine that comes from a unique vineyard or set of vineyards. Of course when we work with the same vineyard and/or the same producer in successive years, we typically give each vintage the same label name so as to emphasize the continuity between the wines.
No, the international wines we source for our clients are mode and bottled by independent producers. We do seek to develop relationships with these growers and producers so as better to convey the story of each wine to our clients and to communicate our clients' experience with the wine back to the producers.
As a result of these relationships, Montesquieu is able to work with the producers from the beginning of the wine's life, assisting in the selection of ideal vineyard plots to cultivate into wines destined specifically for our clients (in most cases).
Montesquieu currently works with close to 100 growers and producers around the world, with more sending samples daily.
Fonda Hopkins and Frank Kryger founded the company in 1991 in Chicago. In 1992, the company acquired W.G. Best, an importer-distributor located in San Diego. Over the next fifteen years, we grew steadily, increasing our revenues and reach and opening up numerous sales offices.
Our winemaking facility is at Arkenstone Winery, up on Howell Mountain in Napa. Our administrative offices and warehouse are located in San Diego. We have sales offices and brokers around the country, located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Montesquieu currently has approximately 10,000 active clients throughout the United States.
Wine can be purchased through one of our brokers. With very few exceptions, our wine is only available through our brokers. Our wine is rarely available in retail shops or restaurants. If you'd like to speak to a broker, please call (800) 860-2378.
Montesquieu seeks to infuse pleasure and excitement into the process of learning to appreciate wine, while enabling each client to acquire wine personally tailored to their tastes and interests.
Unlike traditional wine merchants, our brokers work directly with their clients on an individual basis to expand their wine knowledge and to encourage them to trust their own palates. Brokers bridge a personal and meaningful connection between the winemaker and the client with the aim of deepening both parties' appreciation and understanding of how a wine's terroir shapes the client's experience. Through their broker, clients receive a window into the vineyard and cellar, learning about the vintage conditions, plot characteristics and winemaking decisions that give each wine a unique taste and identity.
Montesquieu clients also have direct access to rare and hard-to-obtain wines, most of which are not available in retail shops or restaurants.
Montesquieu's customer service is unparalleled in the wine industry – wines are guaranteed to the client's taste. If a client is unhappy with a purchase anytime within the first six months, we will refund or exchange the wines to ensure customer satisfaction.
Montesquieu wines - both those we make ourselves and those we bring in from vineyards around the world - undergo intense scrutiny to ensure that we only offer the best of the best to our clients. Our Montesquieu wine buyers not only seek small producers, they also are highly selective about which wines we carry. Montesquieu wine buyers taste hundreds of wines and visit scores of vineyards before choosing a deserving few to make available to our clients. As a result, you can be sure every bottle you receive from Montesquieu winery will be of the highest quality.