Our estate Pinot Noir vineyards are planted with five different clonal selections: 113, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Each offers an individual layer to the complexity of our blend. In the vineyard, fruit is dropped post-veraison to a single cluster per shoot. Growing Pinot Noir in the Oak Knoll District requires fastidious attention as the temperatures and conditions are much warmer during the season. Using a longer 48-hour cold soak helps us with color stabilization in our Pinot Noir. After the first 12 hours, we saignée (or bleed off) to make our Rosé to further concentrate both flavors and color. We have also found that applying carbonic maceration fermentation, a process where the grapes are fermented whole, also aids in the color stabilization. Special yeast selections and lots of love go into creating and fine tuning this wine each and every vintage!
The 2016 vintage rewarded Napa Valley with normal rainfall after four consecutive vintages of drought. The grapevines sped right through their annual milestones with an early budbreak. Even bloom started early, and Pinot Noir was set before the May rains extended bloom for other varieties. Scorching heat at the end of June pushed veraison ahead over the 4th of July weekend. Harvest started early for many, however normal yields in our vineyards had us waiting to crush until the end of August. While not a completely leisurely harvest, we thanked Mother Nature for perfectly ripened fruit, happy fermentations & allowing us to be finished picking everything before 10” of rain arrived in October.