Unlike the larger vineyards and wineries, much of the ‘vine-to-wine’ process is carried out manually. This allows the team to intervene at all the critical stages so that only the best clusters of grapes are harvested and, during the enological steps, the winemaker can manipulate the wine chemistry to achieve a good balance of acid, tannin, fruit and complexity in the finished wine.
Starting with the harvest, usually late August through September, the berries are collected before the sun comes up so that the crop can be placed in the winery while still cool from the evening before. They are then stored over solid carbon dioxide until later in the morning when destemming takes place. Importantly the grapes are not intentionally crushed. In this way, some of the berries can act as their own ‘fermentation factories’ and thus maximally extract the flavours and pigments characteristic of the varietal.