There’s a constant barrage of new (or rediscovered ancient) techniques that come into vogue, promising to do ‘wonderful’ things for better wines. And then, after you’ve added things, you can add other things to undo any excesses left over from the previous treatments. Instead of following these new and shiny things, over the years I have tried to streamline our winemaking process. Rather than simply introducing more steps, additives, manipulations, etc. to ‘improve’ only one aspect at a time, I have tried to stand back and focus on as much of the whole picture as I am capable of to refine the process. From simply whole-cluster pressing and fermenting the Chardonnays and rosés, to aging all the red wines on initial lees for the entire time in barrel, I am often finding that less (work/stuff) is more. When looking at the whole, the process is dictated by the needs of the material at hand. It’s not an excuse to be lazy, the simpler processes only work when it’s part of a comprehensive approach beginning with the grapes. This transparent, minimalist approach is also apparent in how we ‘market’ our wines as well. No smoke. No mirrors. Just being up front with the way we see things.
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