Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
Vineyards and Winemaking
Each year we strive to create wines that reflect site, vintage, and style. Our grapegrowing and winemaking processes seek to highlight the intensity and freshness of mountain grown Chardonnay. Our five Chardonnay blocks are spread across the 475-acre Estate at elevations ranging from 1,800 ft to 2,100 ft. There are numerous soil profiles across these blocks, including compressed volcanic ash, fractured volcanic cobbles, gravelly loam, and cobbled clay. The rugged topography and intense exposure result in multiple microclimates where this cool-climate varietal can thrive. Keeping with tradition, the plantings are dominated by a few different variations of the Wente Clone on St. George rootstock. The vineyards have been farmed organically since 2013.
The grapes are hand harvested early in morning and delivered to the winery cold to preserve their integrity. Our winemaking team then inspect and sort clusters as we begin the pressing process. We utilize both whole-cluster (85%) and crushed pressing (15%) methods at low pressures in our horizontal tank press. Juice settling and clarification occur at cool temperatures in stainless steel. The juice is then racked off lees and moved to oak cooperage for alcoholic fermentation. Fermentation typically takes two to four weeks at cellar temperature– though each lot has its own unique fermentation dynamics. Bâtonnage may be used with slower fermentations but is not typical. Malolactic fermentation is prohibited.
Fermentation and aging occur in oak cooperage of various size, age and origin. Typically, 45% is aged in puncheon and foudre with sizes ranging in volume 132-gallon (500L) to 264-gallon (1,000L) – these are French and Austrian oak in origin. The remaining 55% is aged in 60-gallon (228 L) barrique. Typically, 10% of the oak cooperage per vintage will be new. Élevage is 12 to 18 months – vintage dependent. Bottle conditioned for 1 year prior to release.