Winemaking

Our fruit is picked in the cool early morning hours, ensuring consistent and locked in sugars . They are loaded and brought to our winery located in Calistoga, where a small crew eagerly awaits them.

Chardonnay grapes are pressed using one of our small bladder presses and the juice sent to barrel for 100% barrel fermentation. Yeasts indigenous to the vineyard and winery perform the fermentation; nothing is added to the grapes or juice prior to or during fermentation. The use of French oak creates the subtle oak flavor, spice driven flavors that enhance our award winning single vineyard chardonnays . The idea is to open and disturb the barrels as little as possible, and to leave the environment inside the barrel integral and self-regulating. This regime exposes the wine to small amounts of oxygen when it is at its youngest and most vigorous stage; this is a kind of inoculation against later oxidation.

is strong and will age slowly and well. The long, undisturbed period in barrel allows a graceful and extended contact with the lees and allows anything clouding the wine to settle out so thoroughly that filtration becomes unnecessary.

The Red grapes, too, are hand harvested in the coolest morning hours. Upon delivery to the winery, the bins will be slowly dumped into a crusher de-stemer which literally removes the stems and leaves, leaving just the berries to go down a conveyor belt where they will be meticulously sorted. This sorting process ensures that any lingering leaves, stems and other odd debris will get removed prior to the berries reaching the fermentation tanks.

The grape juice known as 'must' undergoes daily hand punch downs to ensure that the cap of skins ,which float on top, are pushed back down into the juice, allowing amazing color extraction. The fermentation lasts roughly two weeks, until the majority of the fermentable sugars are consumed by the yeast. At this point the free run juice is drained away from the cap, where it is 'bull dogged' or pumped into French oak barrels to begin its lengthy aging process. Our average, our red wines are aged for up to 2 years in French oak!

As you may guess, there's a bit more to our wine production but that's why you need to come taste with us, so we can take you through the complete experience!