Barrel Program

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Romantic ideals abound in the barrel room, infused with scents of wood and wines, there lying in almost sacred repose. A stillness falls amongst the barrels, with wines maturing gradually until that moment of transition to the bottle, as if sent from the nest into the world.

For, the best fruit, carefully harvested from a terroir with a story to tell, is owed time in the barrel – most barrel aged wines just taste better. Time and effort must be allocated in an effort to make the best wine possible. Period.

All of our red wines are barrel aged, but not just in any barrel. We custom select the forest, staves, and cooperages for each vineyard and variety, using a variety of barrel types to emphasize terroir, and to add texture and complexity to the wine.

Some of our Merlot, for example, is aged in American Oak from the American South, as it has a remarkable ability to help bring out the violet aromas that are unique to Thatcher Bay Vineyard. We also experiment with a variety of French Oak barrels as they soften the more tannic varieties.

And, unique to our small winery, a small number of the Taransaud T5 barrels are used on select cuvees of Cabernet and Merlot for the mystical qualities they lend. Allotted only one or two barrels a year (1% of the world production), T5 wood is sustainably harvested from trees that were planted for Louis XIV, the Sun King, over three hundred years ago. We haven’t yet released the wines crafted from these barrels; I’m having a hard time letting go, for there is a spiritual quality that keeps me drawn to them.

Yet, it would be a shame not to share…