Low on technology, high on personality. Low on analytics, high on intuition.
— Winemaking technique —
HANDLING Our technique is characterized by minimal handling. Fermentation is allowed to occur spontaneously, relying on “wild” indigenous yeast, and tended to the old-fashioned way with punch downs and pump overs by hand throughout the day (and night).
PRESSING We empty the tank into our press and the new wine is then moved into French oak barrels. The proportion of new barrels vs. neutral ones varies according to the strength and concentration of the vintage, usually about 30 to 50%.
TRANSFORMATION Secondary fermentation occurs naturally at a rather relaxed pace by comparison with the 'norm' in our very cool barrel cellar. We feel that a long, slow process gives greater complexity of flavor, transforming raw young wine into a thing of liquid beauty.
BARREL AGING AND REDUCTIVE WINEMAKING We receive lots of questions about how we make wine. It's no different than what thoughtful Burgundians have been doing for generations. Pinot Noir is fragile and needs to be protected from excessive exposure to oxygen. Hence, the winemaking style, once in barrel, is called “reductive,” meaning exposure to oxygen is intentionally reduced. We do not practice the typical racking process of transferring a wine from barrel to barrel to aerate. Our only racking occurs after 10- to 12-months, when we rack into a settling tank before bottling. This is the only time the wine is exposed to air, and even then, it is minimal in order to protect the aromatics.
Aging on lees in our cold cellar, and the fact that there is no movement of the wine (racking) until bottling, results in a buildup of CO2 - a by-product of the secondary/malolactic fermentation. This serves as a natural preservative and allows us to use far less sulphur than most wine producers.
All of this is aimed at preserving the character of our terroir, the personality of the vintage, and the quality of the wine.