Winemaking

...In the winery, we try to maintain a policy of non-intervention and let the fruit speak for itself. The grapes are hand picked at first light to keep them as cold as possible and then are brought from the vineyard to the crush pad in 500 pound bins. Every cluster is hand-sorted before de-stemming. The de-stemmer is a very specialized machine which removes most of the berries from the stems without breaking the skins. We get 85 to 90% whole berries, which minimizes the bitterness sometimes associated with mechanical mastication of the skins.

The fermentors hold 3000 pounds and are brought into the winery where they are kept cold for 4 to 5 days. They are then inoculated with a variety of French wine yeasts and allowed to become warm.

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After a light pressing, the wine settles in a blending tank for 2 to 3 days, and is then put directly into French oak barrels for eleven months. Malo-lactic fermentation occurs slowly during the winter and the wine is racked once following ML, usually in April.