60 cases produced
Our Viognier grows on a steep hillside at 2,000-foot altitude in the granitic and volcanic soil of our vineyard estate in the Shenandoah Valley of the Sierra Foothills. It is grafted on special drought tolerant rootstock which allows it to dig deep in this soil for water and we dry farm it. It thrives in the warm daytime breezes from the Central Valley and cool Sierra evenings, a 30 degree swing in temperature, a climate similar to that of Northern Rhône.
The 2018 season was characterized by lighter rainfall than usual with a totally dry December and February. Half the season's rain fell in March which contributed to good vine growth. Bud break was about a month later due to many cold nights in March/April. With the delayed start, harvest ended up being about 3 weeks later than usual.
We harvested our Viognier August 28 at a Brix of 23.7. The grapes picked cool early morning off the field were whole cluster pressed using a hand operated ratchet press and then fermented dry (no residual sugars) at cool winery room temperatures in tanks. We waited patiently for a year in tanks to give it enough time for the suspended (due to positively charged) solids to naturally settle and impart all their flavor rather than rush it to market as many other winemakers tend to do. We preferred to just give it more time!! It is a full bodied, hearty flavored white wine with 14.5% alcohol and pH of 3.4, which means a well balanced crisp acidity, with tasting notes of apricots, citrus, tangerine, peach and honeysuckle. No oak was used so you will be getting the true fruit forward mineral terroir of the granite Sierra soils. It will be best enjoyed chilled as an appetizer wine or paired with such foods as Moules Marinières, fish, chicken and crisp summer salads. We’re thrilled with how it turned out and look forward to making more next season as grape production grows from this vineyard.