I am now working on my “Final Roll Call” in life after leaving a 30-year career in Silicon Valley.
Happier than I have ever been, “I finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up”.

In pursuit of more hands-on experience, Me and my wife Chris have contributed to many harvests over the years including Minnesota (where we brought grapes from California, and also made wine from cold-hardy fruit from the University of Minnesota at a local winery), as well as Napa Valley, and South Africa.

My style is more about rolling up my sleeves and be intimately involved with every step of the process, from vineyard sourcing and hands-on berry sorting to the myriad details of winemaking, sensory analysis and the infinitely nuanced art and science of blending.  Our goal is to make age-worthy guilt-free daily drinking wines.

 

 

My wine making starts in the vineyard.  We work only with small vineyard growers.  We tend to harvest grapes at a lower brix because we do not produce “Fruit Bombs”.  Our wines tend to be more European in style.  Grapes are hand harvested.  However, I do believe machine harvested grapes tend to produce a consistent wine year after year in typical growing seasons.

 

During the wine making process we use half-ton macro bins, crushing, destemming, and allowing native yeasts to start fermenting.  I believe the inclusion of native yeasts offer a more complex wine.  Once native yeasts have started, I will determine if I need to inoculate with a commercial yeast.  Since we are a small producer, fermentations must complete dry.  Manual hand punch downs 2-3 times per day.  When the wine is near completion, I then back off on manual punch downs.  During fermentation Brix are checked daily along with tasting of the fermenting juice.   Once fermentation is complete, we press the dry wine, tasting during the process of allowing the juice to flow into a holding tank and allow the gross lees to precipitate for a day.  Only then do we rack the wine into barrels.

Our wines age in French Oak barrels; typically, once used from 18 to 24 months on average.  Managing minimal sulfur levels (via labs) while topping barrels assures minimum head space keeping Volatile Acidity to a minimum.  We do not believe in over “oaking” our wines.  I believe an over oaked wine may be flawed, or potentially hiding a problem.

We believe the fruit should express itself.  For example, a true to the varietal cabernet sauvignon could show a slight bell pepper nose over time.  Overripe grapes will never show their true potential in the bottle.