Our viticulture practices are based on sourcing fruit from where it grows best in the valley. We select our Pinot, Chardonnay and Merlot from Carneros, where the bay influence slows maturation so these cooler climate grapes can ripen properly before they “sugar up.” This longer hang time gives the skins a chance to soften, before the Brix level gets too high.
We source our Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot from “up valley” regions where there is less maritime influence. This allows us to get the ripeness we desire to make our style of wines. The growers that we work with have the same belief that we do…great wines come from great fruit that is grown with balance.
Our enological practices are to take this fruit that is grown with balance, and to make rich, concentrated wines that are accessible when young, yet will get even better with age. Each wine that we make has its own specific plan of how to coax the most out of each lot. Our white wines are fermented very slowly in order to retain all of the aromatics in the wine…not in the winery. Our Cabernets and Zinfandel are both cold soaked at first to bring out more fruit, and then fermented at high temperatures to extract as much as we can from the skins. While our Cabernet sees a minimum of 50% new French oak for 22 months, our Zinfandel is barrel aged in used Chardonnay barrels for only 15 months in order to showcase the beautiful spicy fruit aromatics that Zinfandel naturally delivers.
~ Rob Lloyd, Executive Winemaker