Mira Winery, Where Wine is Science and Art

Have you heard of the golden ratio?

1.618 = φ

It’s achieved when the sum of two numbers, divided by the larger number, equals the ratio of the larger number divided by the smaller number. The Fibonacci numbers follow this rule, and the farther up the Fibonacci sequence, the closer the ratio is to exactly 1.618. The number pattern and the visual representation pop up often in nature, think petals on a rose or the specific spiral on a conch shell. And I know what you’re thinking…”Sara, what does this have to do with wine?”

Young vines and olive trees framed by Wappo Hill

Well, readers, the golden ratio, the mathematical analog of perfection, was what brought established Napa winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez and East Coast financier idea-man, Jim Dyke, together in a bar in Washington D.C. The two met by chance and bonded over the wonders of mathematics and the natural world. Destiny, it seemed. To these two, wine is a miracle – from the moment the vines spring from the ground to berry development, to fermentation, and finally to the product in the glass. And thus, sprung the name for their joint venture – Mira, from the Latin for miracle and the Greek for destiny.

The golden ratio logarithmic spiral, the heart of the property

Mira is classic and innovative at the same time. While the brand kicked off in 2009, the current Yountville property was purchased in 2016, and the golden ratio inspired tasting room and production facility opened to the public in 2019. The logarithmic spiral begins at the heart of the property and radiates outwards, encompassing the whole lot. An aerial view reveals the full extent of the deliberate planning.

The approach
Tasting patio

The winery really hit its stride in 2021, despite pandemic uncertainty. With the two giant French oak egg fermentation vessels as a novel draw, the only two of their kind in the Western Hemisphere, plus a dedication to maturing everything in new French oak, Mira is a unique and unforgettable experience. What is currently in those eggs? Sauvignon gris, a pinkish mutation of Sauvignon Blanc with a similar flavor palate but rosy coloration if macerated with the skins. Mira’s delicate and complex Napa wine is produced in an elegant, earthy style under Gustavo’s watchful eye. Many of the grapes are currently sourced from Hyde Vineyards in the Carneros region while the patient wait for their estate wines (first vintage was a 2020 harvest) to mature in barrel. Subtle and supple is how I would describe these classy, single-varietal reds. The experience is $150 for a 90 min tour and tasting, but you’ll feel at home and immersed in the stories behind the wine.

One of the two Taransaud Ovum egg vessels

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