Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is whole-cluster pressed (as with sparkling wine) and for the Alexander Valley fruit from my father’s vineyard, stopped at very low juice yields, giving more fine elements. With my two manually operated ‘bladder presses’ (please forgive the connotation) this requires hours of valve twisting, button pushing, lever hefting and scurrying about reminiscent of Dorothy and her associates’ first meeting with the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. This is important to making high quality Chardonnay (the taking of only the first and finest juice as opposed to the scurrying), and especially critical for grapes from the less cool areas like Alexander Valley. 100% barrel fermentation and malolactic fermentation both with native microorganisms, typically 16-17 month barrel aging, and unfiltered bottling are typical for us.

Our young Scherrer Vineyard Chardonnays seem to have a signature lime note and a leaner, higher acidity pose. It is starfruit for the Helfers with a more rubenesque, generous and textural feel. Interestingly, these kinds of youthful notes are preserved well with longer barrel time, while the bubble-gum ‘baby-fat’ is not.

What is fascinating is that the Scherrer Vineyard Chardonnays from a warmer locale than Helfer Vineyard present higher acidity and more lean-minerality. It is consistent and defies typical stereotypes. They are both two different kinds of ‘good.’

These wines are often offered ahead of release to wine shops and restaurants. They are ready to drink or cellar according to your own tastes.

Helfer Vineyard

Showing all 3 results

Showing all 3 results

Scherrer Vineyard

Showing all 2 results

Showing all 2 results

We hold back a proportion of many of our wines to watch their development over time. Once a year in November, we take a look and select a few wines from our wine library and make them available for retrospective tastings or just replenishing your cellar with a forgotten gem.

Helfer Vineyard

Showing all 4 results

Showing all 4 results

Restaurant releases nearly always lag a year or more behind the newest offerings to our mailing list. We know that our wines acidity and balance make them very food friendly especially when then can benefit from a few years in bottle at the winery.

Scherrer Vineyard

Showing the single result

Showing the single result

A Master List of all Chardonnays made since our first vintage in 1997.

Scherrer Vineyard

Showing all 20 results

Showing all 20 results

Fort Ross Vineyard

Showing all 2 results

Showing all 2 results

Fort Ross Vineyard – Reserve

Showing all 2 results

Showing all 2 results

Sonoma Coast

Showing all 2 results

Showing all 2 results

Helfer Vineyard

Showing all 19 results

Showing all 19 results