Inspired by the regions gravelly soils and rolling hillsides, as well as 80 plus years of viticulture and winemaking by missionaries, Robert Livermore planted the first commercial wine grapes in what we now call the Livermore Valley. The year was 1846, and it would forever change the dynamic of the entire California wine scene.
Complexity can be achieved in winemaking in single vineyard wines by implementing different strategies at harvest. By producing several different variations of one Chardonnay pick we are given quite a few potential blending possibilities. When we execute on all four takes we have many ways of getting to something amazing. This is our most impressive Chardonnay to date from our Arroyo Seco block and while I will never feel like I have created a recipe, I will certainly implement a lot of the same strategies from 2014 going forward. A benchmark wine for our winemaking team.
In 2011, we decided to make a change in our white wine program. We decided to venture south of the Livermore Valley in search of a cool climate region to produce wines with vibrant, bright, natural acidity. We sourced Viognier and Chardonnay from the famed Riva Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA. With its cool coastal breezes and moderate temps throughout the summer, we achieved white wines with tropical/citrus fruit driven qualities and vibrant, refreshing mouth feel.
The Chardonnay was hand harvested on September 21st and delivered to the winery. The entire lots was pressed whole cluster and the juice was racked to 1 large settling tank. From here the lot was divided into 4 equal parts, 3 for fermentation in stainless steel tanks, each fermented with different yeasts (QA23, DV10, Rhone4600). The fourth component was racked to barrels (50% New, 50% 3rd Use, 100% French) and inoculated with CY3079. The barrel fermented portion underwent partial Malo-Lactic conversion while the three stainless components retained their malic. The wines were aged separately on lees for 4 months and portions from each lot were blended to create this offering.
Wine TypeWhite Wine
Varietal Composition100% Chardonnay
2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
“James the Wine Guy”