In 2002 Robert and Susan McNerney planted one acre of their small family estate with a French clone root stock of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Coombsville region of Napa. Their aspiration was to make a premium wine to share with friends and family across the country and to share a small piece of their dream in the hand crafted wine they produced. In 2008, they released their first vintage, “2006 Le Chanceux” (pronounced Luh Shuhn sue), French for “the lucky one”. It was a reminder to their three daughters, Lauren, Ellen and Jennifer, how lucky they were to be blessed to live in the beautiful Napa Valley, a world destination where world class wines are produced. This first release brought them a Double Gold Medal from the 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine competition. Double Gold Awards were given to only 42 out of 1500 wines entered worldwide. The dream came to an abrupt halt when Robert was diagnosed with cancer in early 2010 and passed away after a six month battle. Finding strength and courage to continue, Susan has taken the family wine business in a new direction. The dream changed with the loss of Robert, however the passion and willingness to share what the family has been blessed with has not. Beginning in 2012, Susan began attending charity events across the country that benefit children with various needs. Donations of wine and accommodations at the Belles Filles Guest Cottage allowed her to share her blessings and introduce her boutique Napa Valley wines.
Belles Filles Vineyard is located in Napa Valley in the rolling benchlands of the Coombsville AVA. There is probably no other wine grape variety that better reflects the place from which it comes than Cabernet Sauvignon. Soil, geographic orientation and climate all contribute to a vineyards "terroir," and the Cabernet Sauvignon grape provides the perfect structure upon which these distinct characteristics can emerge. The geographical location and terrain of Coombsville has unique microclimates which provide a long growing season where grapes develop a supurb range of flavors with extended hang time. The "Cabs" from this area tend to lean more toward Bordeaux style wines than the rest of the valley. Le Chanceux is family owned and operated with a small production of approximately 200 cases annually. Every vintage is unique and carefully nurtured along on the vines until optimum quality is reached. Our small batches are hand crafted with minimal intervention and maximum attention and are aged in French oak barrels (30% new, 70% 1 yr. vintage barrels) for 24 months .Each vintage is then aged an additional two years in the bottle before release. The annual 200 cases produced are available through e-commerce and "TheLucky Ones” wine club. Wine tastings are available by reservation at either Silenus Artisan Vintner’s or Kitchen Collective, both in Napa. Optional dinners paired with Le Chanceux wines are also available. For more information or to make reservations please call Susan at 707.363.7945.
Once a mere hobby, the vineyard which produced an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon became a labor of love which Susan managed along with her husband and one worker for the first 8 years and continues to do so with a new vineyard management team . Farming became second nature and a passion took hold as people discovered their family wine in which she took great pride in producing. In 2014, the importance of offering other varietals to our customers became a priority. One barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon from Belles Filles Vineyard is now reserved annually to make a “Melange”, or red blend. Each blend varies from year to year based on the percentage of Bordeaux varietals added. Approximately 45 cases are produced annually. Additionally, one barrel of Rosé Wine is made annually from one half ton of Cabernet grapes from Belles Filles Vineyard and processed by a classic French method called “pigeage”. A process particularly used for making the world’s finest red wines, the grapes are stomped down in open vats by foot. Only 25 cases are produced annually. Lastly, one ton of Sauvignon Blanc grapes are Harvested annually from Rutherford in Napa Valley. Two barrels are produced each Spring for those who enjoy a light, citrusy white wine. Only 50 cases are produced annually.