The steep rocky slopes of the vineyards
at Mayacamas yield small crops of tiny grapes. This small fruit
is intensely flavored and results in very full character development
in the wines. Winemaker Robert Travers designs winemaking procedures
to preserve this intensity.
Average annual wine production
at Mayacamas Vineyards is now approximately 5,000 cases, the
majority of which are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with
smaller quantities of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir also produced.
About 2,000 cases of Cabernet
Sauvignon are made each year. Small amounts of Cabernet Franc
and Merlot (generally totaling 10% to 15% of the final wine)
are blended into the Cabernet Sauvignon. Seven to fourteen days
of fermentation on the grape skins are preceded by crushing and
destemming. The grapes are then pressed and racked several times
in the next few weeks. Two years of large American oak cask aging
is followed by a year in 60 gallon French oak barrels. After
bottling, these wines are given an additional two years of aging
in the bottle before being released for sale at about five years
of age. Full development requires many more years. We recommend
that Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon be consumed at twelve to twenty
five years of age although some vintages will be at or near their
best for even longer.
Annual production of Chardonnay
also averages nearly 2,000 cases. It is made entirely from Chardonnay
grapes. Pressing is accomplished immediately after crushing and
destemming. Cool fermentation follows and lasts about three weeks.
The secondary malolactic fermentation is not induced. Then Mayacamas
Chardonnay is given several rackings and a light fining during
the next six months of aging in 600 to 1,200 gallon American
oak casks. A year of aging in 60 gallon French oak barrels preceeds
bottling. These wines usually reach maturity at five to eight
years of age but some hold near their peak for many more years.
Pinot Noir takes only about five
days to ferment and just Pinot Noir grapes are used here. After
pressing, the wine is racked several times while aging for its
first half year In our American oak casks. Then the wine spends
a year in French oak barrels. Bottled at 18 to 20 months of age,
Mayacamas Pinot Noir is released for sale when four years old
and is usually at its best between its seventh and twelfth years.
Just a few hundred cases are made each year.
Mayacamas produces about 600 cases a
year of Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is made entirely from Sauvignon
Blanc grapes. Crushing, destemming and pressing are followed
by three weeks of cool fermentation. Several rackings and a fining
during the eight to ten months of cask aging precede bottling.
Released when a year and a half old, Mayacamas Sauvignon Blanc
is usually at its best when three to five years of age, but some
vintages age well for several more years.
Mayacamas is very small and we
intend to keep it that way. Our objective is to make wine with
as much flavor, complexity and character as grapes can deliver.
Given proper care and enough time, we believe these make the
most interesting and enjoyable wines of all.
Monday through Friday we schedule
visits to the winery. To make an appointment, please contact
us. We distribute our wines throughout the United States
and internationally. If you
would like to be on our semi-annual newsletter mailing list,
please let us know your mailing address.