art in liquid form
We accomplish this by deep engagement in the full spectrum of wine making tools; the botany of the vineyard and terroir; the biology and chemistry of encouraging the yeasts to do their magic and the artistry of making the stylistic decisions in putting all of this together with selections of barrel types, aging times and selective blending.
The varietals we produce include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Grenache Blanc, Orange Muscat and Sangiovese. In making these we are intimately involved in the vineyard management because the quality of the wine can only be as good as the grapes from which it is made. We employ traditional French wine making methods combined with techniques used to produce the best wines of Northern California.
We benefit from the deep heritage of winemaking in this part of the world and are constantly gathering knowledge from other wine makers and experts to further refine the boutique wines we create.
Chardonnay begins in the Livermore Valley - Our Estate Grape
The Livermore Valley is the crucible of Chardonnay in North America. It is one of the most classic French varietals and is primarily grown in the Burgundy region. It is referred to with names such as Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuisses and Chablis. This grape was first introduced to the United States in 1881 when Charles Wetmore, Agriculture Commissioner in California, brought budwood from Meursault, France to establish vineyards at his Livermore winery. The clone was further developed by the Wente family in Livermore and now nearly all Chardonnay grown in the US is based on the Wente Clone. Like the Napa and Sonoma regions, the Livermore Valley is well suited to growing Chardonnay with hot summer days and cool nights as the fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean.
The wine making methods used include meticulous and focused management of our vineyard, manual harvesting of the grapes in the cool of the night, pressing the grapes as whole clusters, barrel fermentation, aging the wine Sur Lie, and barrel management using select new French barrels. It is labor intensive but results in a complexity and expansive mouthfeel that sets it apart while maintaining an elegant balance.
Non-Estate Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Grenache Blanc, Orange Muscat
We work closely with local vineyards to select grapes that can achieve the level of quality and characteristics that are true to the character of their varietal and expressive of their terroir. We purchase fruit from Napa, Shenandoah and the Sierra Foothills of Placer as we have close relationships with the vineyard owners and frequently participate in key vineyard decisions.