The very first harvest from the Fort Ross Chardonnay Vineyard yielded a minute crop of tiny berries that produced a wine with mild earthiness, honeysuckle, great textural minerality (perhaps a signature of the site?) and perky balance uncommon in California Chardonnay. We came up 10 gallons short of two full barrels on the day of pressing. In response to this, I had a neighboring cooper ‘shrink down’ one of my older barrels, removing some of the staves and resizing the heads and hoops so that we could keep the wine from this site completely separate after fermentation. I held off on deciding how to label it until I could see what the vineyard personality would settle into over the next two vintages. Upon seeing how generous these successive vintages are, I decided to ‘declassify’ this as a regional bottling to reduce the confusion with this vineyard’s more mature personality. It is currently drinking quite well and is priced to reduce any guilt associated with cork-pulling.