In 2010, Flowers adopted native fermentation for 100% of our winemaking, which coincided with the beginning of our conversion to biodynamic and organic farming. We chose to fully embrace terroir by letting the vines and the vintage speak for themselves through this natural form of fermentation. Our Pinot Noir benefits 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.
All of our fruit is hand-harvested into small bins in the early morning to protect the fruit and preserve freshness. At the winery, hand sorting begins on our custom-built shaker table. Pinot Noir clusters are dispersed and gently conveyed to the next sorting table where six sorters assess the clusters that will be allowed to pass to the fermenters.
FERMENTATION AND CELLARING
At Flowers, Pinot Noir is partially de-stemmed to provide a 75% whole-berry environment in our small open-top fermenters. Pinot Noir is cold-soaked for five to seven days at a temperature of 45° F and the hand-punching-down begins. After the cold-soak period, the fermenter is warmed to 68 °F to 85 °F and wild yeast carries the fermentation to showcase the terroir and complexity. Once fermentation is complete the wines are left in contact with the skins for 10-15 days to further enhance flavor and color development.
Free-run wines are drained using natural gravity flow to French oak barrels and the remaining skins are gently pressed in a small traditional basket press. All wines are aged between 14-16 months in small French oak barrels from Burgundian Coopers. Our philosophy is to retain all of the natural vineyard elements while hand-crafting our Pinot Noir. This ensures the true expression of our unique vineyard sites when the wines are enjoyed.
The wines receive additional bottle aging in our temperature controlled cellar until release.