In order to maximize quality, all grapes went direct to press as whole clusters. After pressing and settling, the juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation. Once dry and finished with malo-lactic fermentation, the lots were aged in barrel for 10monthson the lees, with occasional stirring to increase richness and body. On order to offer some subtle oak influence, this wine was aged in French oak barrels, 86% of which were one-year-old, with no new oak used. The wine was then bottled on August 13th, 2018.
The 2017 growing season started off as a wet one. Record rainfall through April invigorated the vines and bolstered canopies. Moderate-to-warm temperatures followed, allowing the vines to bloom and mature fruit in a balanced and tempered way. We did apply more leafing in our canopy management to counter the invigorating effects of the rain. All of our Chardonnay blocks were picked prior to the devastating wine country fires in early October, leaving all wine lots free of possible smoke influence. Grapes were picked on September 26th, 2017.
Charles Heintz has been growing premium Chardonnay grapes for decades. His namesake vineyard is located in the westernmost part of the Russian River Valley, making it our coolest climate site. Charlie himself has said, “It’s like growing Chardonnay in a rain cloud out here.”