We craft less than 150 cases per varietal, marrying rich historical context with the nuances of terroir, allowing us to create expressive wines with an indelible sense of place.
Wines of terroir require more attention at the early stages of winemaking (cultivation, harvest, stemming, and fermentation), and less intervention in the latter stages. Allowing the wine to evolve in its own way requires patience, a view expressed in the deepest meaning of the French term, élevage.
The harvest must be timed for both the varietal and vineyard character to be expressed in the wine. Decisions on stemming – allowing for a high percentage of whole berries in fermentation leads to greater varietal expression in the wine, but at the expense of structure and complexity. It is a balance of the two with each harvest. It is a work in progress, and, as it takes several years to taste the results.
Fermentation is our last major intervention in the winemaking process. Temperature (competition between fruit and complexity), aeration (how much reductive character to allow), and yeast selection (native California or commercial inoculation) must all be decided in unison and account for the vintage, vineyard, and Valley terroir.
We may be particular, but we felt it necessary to develop very modern, bespoke equipment so that we may capture the true nuance of terroir and allow for our Heritage varietals to speak as intended. A collaborative juxtaposition.