This vineyard is located deep in the delta in the southernmost part of the Clarksburg AVA where the average temperature is lower than that of the northern end and of the Lodi AVA to the east. The wind howls through the vineyard bringing cool marine air that tempers the summer heat. We make several passes each year to pick just the right fruit at just the right time. The first pick is for Methode Traditionelle and/or Pet-Nat. The second pick is for both Pet Nat and the barrel fermented still wine. The third pick is for the young Chenin that we call 'SRV'. We look for a nexus of acidity, sweetness, flavor, and phenolic ripeness in order to produce Chenin Blanc that exceeds the expectations of Sacramento Delta wine.
Our basket press holds one ton of macerated fruit, so we foot tread the clusters and include the stems. This is increasingly challenging as our production grows, because it means we are faced with pressing 7-8 tons per pick. It takes us two days to do that and then we do it again a week or so later at the current production rate. We use no sulfur at the press and give the juice plenty of oxygen so we can oxidize the phenolics and end up with a sturdy and stable wine. The must is fermented in a variety of vessels, without adding cultured yeast; roughly half neutral barriques and half stainless tanks. An egg and a few new barrels are used occasionally. ML is conducted natively, too. The wine remains on gross lees, no batonnage, until we bottle in February or March. We add minimal effective sulfur at bottling which is 20-40ppm depending on pH. And we coarse filter (2 micron) if the wine is deemed too murky for general consumption.