We handpick our Viognier at first light as the sun crests the Mayacamas Mountains in the background. The air is chilly, usually in the low 50’s F, which means the grapes are a perfect temperature to be picked. The golden-yellow grapes are handpicked into tiny bins to prevent smushing by their own weight. We pressed the grapes 100% whole cluster into an air membrane bladder press that ever so lightly applies pressure to the fruit causing the grapes to rupture and the resulting juice is collected in a bin below as free run. The more pressure the grapes are pressed with, the more astringency, tannin, and bitterness will be present. We only press lightly and then stop the press; capturing the best fractions of the juice. The chilly juice is pumped to a chilled stainless-steel tank where the juice sits and settles over 48 hours. During this period the heavier sediment drops to the bottom of the tank and forms a layer called “lees” and the resulting juice becomes clearer. This clearer juice is racked off the lees to French oak barrels. The juice warms to cellar temperature over 2 days and fermentation begins. Each barrel is its own mini fermentation which creates complexity for the overall blend down the road. Because Viognier is already vicious, sometimes oily on the palate we do not need any extra mouthfeel and viscosity, so this wine does not undergo any malolactic fermentation. The wine is sulfured, topped up and sits for 16 months, aging sur lies (a French term for aging on the sediment). Every 4-6 weeks we sulfur, stir and top barrels until the blend is ready to be assembled. We taste each barrel, mark the barrels we like, make a blend, tweak the blend until we are 100% confident and then rack the wine off its lees to tank for bottling.
Aromatics: Honeydew, jasmine floral notes, kiwi, and white peach.
Body/Texture: Full-bodied, rich and velvety.
Flavor: Ripe apricot, tangerine, cantaloupe, nectarine and a hint of fresh nutmeg.