A hallmark of Italian varietals is the touch of land in every sip of wine. The earthy warmth of personality conveyed in every bottle represents the love and care of estate grown vineyards, hand-picked, hand-sorted & hand-crafted to create Italian heritage wines grown of Sonoma County soils.
The varietals we offer have been chosen for their connection to our family, originating from all parts of Italy, and the connection of our estate soil to that of Italy's similar growing climates and elevations. Rather than a large production of a few wines, we prefer to offer small lots of a breadth of Italian flavors suitable for any and every occasion... each lot unique, artisanal and memorable. We feel wines should be experiential, displaying a range of personalities and flavors to enhance and reflect the gatherings in which they are enjoyed.
These flavor profiles are the result of hands-on oversight by our winemaker Dick Schultz of every part of the winegrowing and winemaking process. These are just a few of the techniques used to ensure the highest quality grapes from our estate vineyards.
Leaf removal: We utilize the practice of leaf removal to fight disease and influence wine quality, while being careful not to over-leaf depending on varietal. Sangiovese, for instance, is a bit photo sensitive, and therefore more prone to temperature increase and sunburn. Careful leaf removal, however, can allow for greater air flow, and allow more sunlight to filter to the clusters. Dick takes daily strolls through the vineyards to assess the progress and needs of the vines throughout the season.
Hand-picking: All our grapes are hand harvested, which allows us to pick only the best clusters. Hand-picking is much gentler than machine processing, doing far less damage to the grapes during harvest. Machine harvesting can also beat up the vines as they move down the rows shaking grapes onto collecting trays. This also results in a bit of unwanted materials such as leaves, stems, grasshoppers… machine harvesters are not known for their discerning temperaments. Hand-picking ensures only perfect ripe clusters make the cut and unripe or moldy fruit stays behind.
Hand-sorting: Hand-picking is Level One Berry Refinement, picking out the best bunches from the vines. Hand-sorting is Level Two Berry Refinement, taking the selection a step further by reviewing all the incoming grapes on a sorting tray before they are further processed. This ensures the removal of any last bits of leaves, stems, unripe or damaged fruit which may have slipped in from the initial harvest, resulting in only whole grapes ready for the rest of their journey.
Destemming: The method of destemming our grapes is done using the latest technology. The fruit is gently destemmed, dropping only whole berries in to small open top fermenters, where they are punched down by hand throughout primary fermentaion. The wine is drained by gravity to neutral french oak barrels where it goes through secondary fermentation. Our Biancolella and Fiano are gently pressed using a sparkling wine program, then drained from the press pan using gravity to a combination of stainless steel and neutral french oak barrels where they complete primary fermentation.