California’s Beaulieu Vineyard will spend $7m (£3.4m) building a new facility for its Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Joel Aiken, who has been with Beaulieu Vineyard for 25 years, plans to focus exclusively on the Georges de Latour, widely considered one of Napa’s benchmark wines.

‘We’ve tried a number of different winemaking techniques in recent years, including barrel fermentations and long, extended macerations,’ Aiken told the Napa Valley Register. ‘We wanted to implement those experiments on a grander scale and the dedicated winery is a way of achieving that goal.’

The new temperature-controlled facility will be finished in time for the 2008 harvest, and will include 23 fermenters, and unique barrel racks with rollers that allow the barrels to spin in place during fermentation.

Founded in 1900 and now owned by Diageo, Beaulieu was home to California winemaking pioneer Andre Tchelistcheff from 1938-1973.

Written by Maggie Rosen