Engineered for the Environment
The winery was completed in 1991, just in time for the harvest of our first vintage. We produced 380 cases that year, and twenty-four vintages later we are still producing less than 1000 cases per year.
The small winery building (under 800 sq ft) is constructed with 2-foot thick rammed earth walls which help maintain the cool, even temperatures required for optimum barrel aging for the one hundred French oak barrels stacked three high inside.
The covered porch on the south side of the winery is used during crush for the fermentation bins and press-off and later in the year for bottling.
Adjacent to the winery is our residence, which serves as tasting room, office, labeling area and storage facility.
Winemaking in Small Batches
Our grapes are picked around 24 brix, depending on the condition of the vines and the color of their seeds. Small stacking picking boxes holding 40-45 pounds of grapes are slowly dumped and sorted into the modified crusher-destemmer (one of the standard rollers has been removed so that the resulting must is primarily whole berries). Fermentation is inoculated immediately. No SO2 is used at crush.
Small three quarter ton bins are punched down twice daily to aid in color and flavor extraction. Average fermentation time is 2 weeks then the wine is pressed off to barrel. The chardonnay is whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented.
All our wine is aged in French oak barrels. The reds are held 2 years or more, the chardonnay, one year. Bottling and labeling is all done by hand with a 7-spigot filler, hand corker and hand labeller.