In 2012 we’re taking a very straight forward approach to Syrah production. Here’s a step-by-step look at the action…
- No irrigation, even when it hits 100 degrees.
- No sugar testing.
- Watch the health of the leaves and the browning of the stems and seeds.
- Taste the fruit!
- Night harvest starting with the East facing hills that get the morning sun without wind.
- Truck the fruit directly into the 45 degree refrigerator to keep cold for 24 hours
- Sort just to make sure there aren’t raisinated clusters and an occasional stray leaf.
- Dump the whole clusters into the concrete, still cold, so the concrete can absorb the temperature and continue to chill the fruit and slow the start of fermentation.
- Do not add any SO2.
- Stomp down the thick cap of clusters by foot, wearing rubber boots.
- Pump over the juice from the bottom to the top of the cap. Yes, we finally bought a pump, and John named her Francesca.
- Once enough juice frees itself from the grapes, start punching down daily through fermentation
- Allow fermentation to naturally begin, no inoculation, which means we never add yeast, we only use the natural yeast already in the vineyard and winery.
- Bubble CO2 from bottom of tank to ensure freshness and naturally inhibit bacteria growth.
- Free run juice off into used barrels. Allow the free run to continue through the night as the weight of the cap presses down.