Optimum vineyard sites and grower commitment to quality are the foundations to achieving exceptional fruit. We partner with a number of growers in Russian River Valley, Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain, Coombsville, Oak Knoll, as well as Stagecoach Vineyard.
Consistent visits and communication with vineyard managers allow us to monitor the vineyard and fine tune the ideal balance of vine stress, sunlight, airflow and fruit load through adjustments to water application, canopy, and fruit thinning. This enables us to achieve our goal of producing small, intense berries with uniform ripening.
Wine making is a series of small and large decisions. While it is difficult to correlate the direct impact of any single decision to the final product, our approach is simple – No Compromise!
Many of the techniques we employ are typically only applied to cult wines. Following is a detailed procedure of how we vinify each of our grape varieties.
Our Cabernet is hand harvested, cluster sorted, and mechanically destemmed. The berries are sent through an optical sorter removing raisins, jacks, and debris to ensure that only prime berries reach the tank. The must is cold soaked for 2 – 4 days and then fermented at a maximum temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit with frequent pump overs and delestage. After primary fermentation, extended maceration occurs for 21 – 32 days until the decision is made, based on taste, to press. Malolactic fermentation occurs in 225L 50% new French oak barrels. For ten months the wine remains in contact with the lees and it’s barrel-aged for a total of 20-22 months and naturally settled. The wine is then bottled without fining or filtration.
Our Pinot Noir is hand harvested, cluster sorted, and mechanically destemmed. The berries are then sent through an optical sorter removing raisins, jacks, and MOG (material other than grape) to ensure that only the finest berries reach the tank. Next, the must is cold soaked for 2 – 4 days and then fermented at a maximum temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit with twice a day pump overs. Post fermentation, the wine is left in contact with the skins for 16 to 24 days. When to press is decided based on taste. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in 228L 25% new French oak barrels. Contact with the lees is maintained for ten months with total barrel time being 14-18 months. The wine is naturally settled and bottled without fining or filtration.
Our Chardonnay is hand harvested, sorted, and whole cluster pressed. The juice is allowed to cold settle for 24-48 hours after which time it’s racked off the gross lees to French oak barrels for fermentation. Next, the juice is held at a maximum temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in 30% new oak barrels, fermented sur lie, until it reaches less than 0.2% residual sugar (full dryness). Following primary fermentation, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation remaining in contact with the lees for twelve months. The Chardonnay’s total barrel time is 14-18 months. Finally after aging and naturally settling, it is bottled without the use of fining.