With the exception of the Lolonis vineyard fruit (which was stainless steel fermented and then barrel aged for 4 months). Our cuvée is fermented in barrel (20% new) and aged sur-lees for about eight months. Stirring the barrels regularly aids in the completion of malo-lactic fermentation, yielding complexity, depth of flavor and aroma. The Santa Maria vineyards add a tropical fruit character to the wine, flavors and aroma of mango, pineapple, and papaya. The Sonoma vineyards attribute citrus character and acid to the cuvée. The Mendocino vineyard, Lolonis, has a flavor profile that leans toward apples aromas of apple crisp and cinnamon.
Our flagship white wine, California Cuvee Chardonnay, really shows off Jed Steele’s wizardry in blending. As with all great wines, the process begins with the selection of the right vineyards. We have worked with most of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California and have chosen these six prestigious properties to obtain the grapes for this wine.
The Santa Maria Valley has a maritime climate with lots of morning fog in the summer and cool evenings. Our grapes come from Bien Nacido Vineyards, located on the benches above the Sisquoc River and from the Goodchild Vineyard about a mile away across the river. From the Carneros AVA, in the southern part of Sonoma County that borders the San Francisco/San Pablo Bay. Cool winds and morning fog are artifacts of the weather pattern making the region perfect for Chardonnay. The Sangiacomo Family farms 1000 acres of vineyards. We source from their Katerina and El Novillero ranches. And, not too far down the road, we draw from the meticulously farmed vineyards of Durell and Parmelee-Hill. In Mendocino County, we draw fruit from the Lolonis Family. They have been farming in Redwood Valley since the 1920’s, farming organically since the 1950’s. Exceptional fruit, year in and year out.