Rants from the Nick side - Full Disclosure
Barrel tasting weekend is over, thank God. It's now time for the Spring 2012 Wine Club release. It's a busy time of the year, not only the tasting weekends; it's also time for blending, racking, and preparing for bottling. Whew! And everybody thinks winemaking is a sedentary endeavor but for crush. We call it passion, commitment, and hard work. It is all about the end product above everything else. Making less money on something that inevitably cost us more, it's the wine first, and there is no fast. Everything at it's own pace, thus the end product. Ours really does take time; you can see that the wines are a little older than what our contemporaries release. Taste our wines and you know why they are ready to drink with the entire velvet glove feel that you would expect. Patience is a virtue; fortunately for me it shows in the wines, not necessarily in me.
Remember, it's all about the wine!
You've heard many a controversy in the recent past of manipulated wines and I've got to tell you that what you get from us is pure. Pure in the sense that we don't add anything but tartaric acid, a grape byproduct that helps achieve balance, structure and deliciousness in the wines. We do not use enzymes in our wines. Enzymes, which are also naturally occurring in the grapes themselves, are now produced by several French wine labs to help in fast extraction of grapes to wine. The use of these enzymes, which are probably 1000 times (or more) what is naturally occurring, is prevalent in a lot of the U.S. producing wineries nowadays. (Funny, most French producers don't use these products). This manipulation enables wineries to get maximum extraction in less time, fermentations are faster and they just move them on thru. Time is money and full fermenters are a waste of space if they can't be used 2-3 or more times during crush.
Speed. No, we make "slow" wine the old-fashioned way, and are proud of it. Our fermenters are "dedicated" to the particular wine in them; they take as much time as they need. I don't feel the need to speed them along, or to get them more extracted, darker with more color or more weight than they get naturally. Nor do I feel we need to "juice" them with a newer vintage to make them fruitier in the short run; competition driven wineries do this often for medals and ratings. And no, we don't add Syrah or Alicante or Zin, dark varietal wine, to color up what nature gives us. You don't drink color, after all. And no, we don't do bleed offs for concentration's sake, causing reductive, smelly, unbalanced wines. Our philosophy is pure and simple; it is what it is, real wine from real people. We run a family business, which is small, and community based. Friends drive this vehicle and our local food producers as well as our local restaurants are an integral part of the way we live, eat, drink and love.
Thank you for your indulgence!
Make no mistake, our wines are completely handmade. A lot of hard work and our dinosaur methodology make these wines what they are. So when you pay those high prices to the big guys using extreme methods you wonder why the prices are what they are. Our wines speak for themselves and we hope you enjoy them in the tradition in which they were made. Great growers, older vines and patience equal extraordinary wine.