chardonnay-winemakingUsing organic and sustainable farming practices, we carefully nurture Chardonnay in our estate vineyards located on the  “extreme”  Sonoma Coast.   The grapes benefit directly from the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean which provides cool daytime breezes during bright sunny days to ensure proper ripening and chilly evening fogs to guarantee lively acidity for freshness in the finished wines.

Our Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard, situated at over 1,200 ft in elevation, was among the first vineyards planted in the area.   Established in 1991, the vineyard is planted primarily to Chadonnay with the majority of the vines being Hyde-Old Wente clonal selections complimented by plantings of Dijon clones 76 and 95.

HARVEST

In the fall, the grapes are carefully selected by hand in the cool morning hours in order to maintain freshness, and placed into small bins to ensure proper delivery to the winery.   There, grape clusters are sorted by hand before going directly into the press.  Gently pressed Chardonnay juice is settled in order to limit the amount of solids in the new juice, then put directly into new and 1-2 year old French oak barrels for 100% barrel fermentation.

FERMENTATION & CELLARING

Barrels undergo fermentation in temperature and humidity controlled aging rooms.   When fermentation is complete, the new wines are put through a second fermentation converting Malic Acid to Lactic Acid.  Twice monthly barrels are hand stirred with a thin wand.   This traditional method of battonage creates complexity in the wine by whisking up natural yeast and fermentation sediment known as lees and allowing them to settle through the aging wines.   The wines becomes softer, more complex and gain exquisite mouth feel.

Final blending takes place in early summer.  The wines receive additional bottle aging in our temperature controlled cellar until release.