What we know for sure about the science of winemaking, is that the artistry, love, and passion from everyone involved is what truly comes through in the glass. Much of this passion emanates from our winemaker, Russell Bevan. To say he’s enthusiastic about wine is an understatement. He thinks outside of the box, and with each vintage his only mission is to better the last.
But wine is nothing without the grapes and vineyards they come from. They are the foundational blocks of the magic that happens in your glass and Russell will be the first to tell you that he’s a farmer first and foremost. Without the fruit, wine is nothing and the magic that happens in every glass is the culmination of the sun, wind, water and elements that bring this elixir to life.
Wine grapes and especially Zinfandel are finicky in how they grow and do not always ripen at the same time so each year we’ll pick through the vineyard multiple times in order to capture everything at peak ripeness. Most of the time, it means we pick the afternoon side of the vine ahead of the morning and we always separate the old from young vines – you can take a deeper dive on the differences here.
After being picked, the grapes are optically sorted utilizing high speed cameras in order to use only whole, perfect berries to focus on the purity of the fruit. Then, from high to low tech, we crush everything by foot in order to reduce the amount of bitter compounds that can be released if seeds are broken during mechanical crushing.
In barrel, the wines are never racked, meaning the wine is not disturbed in the course of its aging in order to created longer tannin chains that will keep these wines stable over time and create a softer approach in the wine’s youth as well. After 11-18 months in mostly new French oak, the wines are finished without being fined or filtered so we don’t strip out any of the beautiful flavors or break apart the structures we’ve worked so hard to create.
– David Thompson, Napa Wine Project