About The Vineyard
The cool climate Carneros region is one of the world’s premier places to grow chardonnay. Temperatures are moderated by the adjoining San Pablo Bay, cool afternoon breezes, and persistent morning fog. As hot air rises above the inland valleys, it is draws cool air from the Pacific Ocean. The sun burns off this fog late in the morning which causes the temperature to immediately jump 15 degrees. This climate yields grapes that have both enough cool hang time and sunshine to develop great natural acidity and deep fruit flavor. The grapes were sourced from seven distinct blocks in our Estate Vineyard, as well as neighboring vineyards in Los Carneros, that we have worked closely with for many years. The blocks in our Estate Vineyard have Northern exposure, and therefore, are more protected from direct sun exposure. The Los Carneros AVA is known for ideal conditions to grow high quality Chardonnay grapes, granting us fruit that is incredibly balanced and with great acidity. The vines work hard for water and nutrients, resulting in naturally low yields of grapes with concentrated fruit flavor.
The grapes were hand-harvested at night and brought to the winery immediately, where they were whole cluster pressed; using a slow “champagne” cycle that gently pushes the must, rendering clean juice but hardly any solids or unwanted phenolic compounds. 60% of the juice was placed in French oak barrels, and 40% in stainless steel tanks, where they underwent alcoholic fermentation, both with selected and native yeasts. After primary fermentation, 50% of the lots went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on its lees for nine months, with weekly bâtonnage (lees stirring), to add complexity and enhance mouthfeel. The wines were racked once prior to bottling.
Our Los Carneros Chardonnay displays great fruit freshness, intensity and elegance. This wine’s focus is primarily on aromatics, and our winemaking techniques are intended to retain the characteristic Carneros aromas of lemon-citrus and white blossom, while enhancing the minerality and bright, vibrant fruit flavors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine. Partial barrel and malolactic fermentation, combined with lees stirring, produces a wine with added layers of complexity, imparting hints of meyer lemon, nectarine and honeysuckle.