Beautiful grapes make beautiful wines
You have probably heard this before, but it bears repeating; beautiful grapes make beautiful wines. As winemakers, we do our best to select the optimal time to pick each varietal. For the last couple of weeks before harvest we frequently visit each vineyard and taste the grapes, take juice samples, and assess the general condition of the grapes. There is nothing we can do to make them ripen faster, but we can hold off the picking until they are as nearly perfect as possible. On the rare occasion we also must tell the grower that his crop will not meet our standards and we cannot buy them. That is the sort of conversation we try to prevent by visits earlier in the season, while there is still time to make adjustments in the vineyard. This is the classic winegrowing approach to producing wonderful wines.
After harvest we practice minimal intervention, desiring to allow the fruit to ‘tell its own story’. We age all of our red wines for at least 20 months in American and French oak barrels. Then they are filtered and bottled. We decide on the release date for each wine by tasting them monthly until we think a wine is ready. If we are offering a wine for sale, it is ready to drink, but all of our red wines will age for a decade or more, and still deliver vibrant fruit and silky tannins.