This time of year, the work of the winemaker is mostly in the cellars or writing emails. In advance of our spring bottling, as well as planting cover crop, pruning, and preparatory work in the vineyards, there’s a lot to consider in terms of logistics and planning. Bottle glass, labels, and corks have to be ordered, barrels racked to tank, and a commercial mobile bottling line and bottling crew secured. While this isn’t a glamorous part of winemaking, it’s absolutely essential to ensuring we can make the best wines possible.

The most rewarding aspect of the winery this time of year is tasting through the cellar to see how the wines have developed since harvest. Tasting teaches us about the effects of a set of vintage conditions and also helps us to improve both our vineyard practices and winemaking every year. For example, for many vineyards we vinify and barrel different vineyard parcels separately so we can understand how vine canopy management, clonal selection, maceration time, or levels of whole cluster vinification will affect the finished wines. Great wine is the sum of many, many small details and we strive to improve those details iteratively vintage after vintage.

I can’t wait to share our continued exploration of these vineyards with the exciting 2020 reds and 2021 whites and rosé sometime later this spring.