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Our Zinfandels are typically destemmed, but not crushed; fermented in simple open-top fermentors; and manually punched down. They are barreled very shortly after pressing and allowed to rest on their lees (sediment) for many months. Racking of the reds is done principally for the purpose of blending so that we would have a faithful blend to show at our futures offering in August. This ‘reductive’ style of winemaking calls for longer time in the barrel for full development and while having two or even three vintages ‘on the floor’ at once causes cooperage congestion, it’s worth it.
Zinfandels are bottled without fining or filtration after at least 16 months in the barrel with judiciously minimal SO2. While my goal is to allow at least one year in bottle before release to the restaurants and stores, my mailing list is offered the wines earlier on futures, but they are usually planning to age them themselves and the ‘release’ is really due to a convenient change of weather for shipping.