It’s all about the vineyard - which is why it is paramount to employ a highly skilled full-time work-force, La Cuadrilla. We take care of them, and they take the most precise care of our vines. In an era when the wine industry is moving towards mechanization, Stolpman Vineyards has gone the opposite direction. Vines are only touched by the hands of La Cuadrilla, no tractors. We spare no effort in meticulous pruning cuts, vine training, and adjustments.
The vineyard is planted to give us a strategically long harvest from early ripening Sauvignon Blanc and Trousseau - through a variety of different Syrah farming techniques - to the late ripening Grenache, Mourvedre, and finally - Roussanne. Spreading out harvest to almost 3 months allows us to ponder each picking decision, always with the goal to nail the combination of bright fresh energy and decadent, coating ripeness. We make multiple harvest passes in a single row, picking only the visually ripe fruit and allowing other bunches a few more days to hang on the vine.
With La Cuadrilla’s tenderly-loved fruit coming into the winery, we can allow grapes to ferment with a gentle guiding hand. We favor naked fermentation with no inoculation, sulfur, or other additions. In many cases we choose not to crush the grapes or we leave bunches whole – aiming for light, nuanced extraction. Fruit destined for red wine is foot trod and gently circulated to avoid coarse obstructive notes.
Always searching for the marriage of distinct fresh fruit purity and integrated, fleshed-out, seamless textures – we vary aging regimens from just a few months to over two years – dependent on the wine’s raw power and concentration. New Oak is only used to frame Roussanne’s viscosity and all other wines see only used wood. We bottle many cuvees within the So Fresh and Combe brands with no sulfur and for wines aged longer, minimal sulfur additions are used to keep the wines fresh and stable.