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Our Collines Vineyard benefits from cool, foggy mornings and afternoon breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay. These conditions are ideal for growing Chardonnay and contribute to a slow and even rate of fruit maturity, leading to optimal balance of sugar and acid. This 38-acre vineyard is planted with devigorating rootstock and features a number of Dijon clones, including 76, 95, 96, and 548, which tend to yield high acidity.
The 2017 growing season began with heavy rainfall, filling reservoirs and replenishing soils following a five-year drought. Harvest began at a normal pace and then progressed rapidly during a heat wave in late August and early September. In mid-September, the temperature cooled and the grapes continued to ripen gradually.
Our Chardonnay was hand harvested at night, then quickly sorted and pressed in full cluster. The grapes were allowed to ferment with wild yeasts, which added layers of complexity. Post-fermentation, the wine was cooled to delay native malolactic fermentation until spring. Winemaker Michael Beaulac allows plenty of lees contact during aging and stirs routinely to enhance a creamy mouthfeel. The wine was aged in French oak for 12 months, using 60 percent new French oak barrels.