In order to maximize quality, all of the 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 malolactic fermentation, the lots were aged in barrel for 10 months on the lees, with occasional stirring to increase richness and body. This wine was aged in French oak barrels, 22% of which were new, with the other 22% being one-year-old. The wine was then bottled on August 20th, 2020.
The 2019 vintage brought a moderately cool growing season to Charles Heintz Vineyard, which is already one of our coolest vineyard sites, with old vine plantings and old-style wide spacing. Due to the cool conditions, we picked this vineyard late in the season on October 3, 2019, when it is not unusual (nor unwanted) to have a small amount of botrytis in the vineyard.
Charles Heintz has been growing coveted 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.” This vineyard is located in the most western part of the Russian River Valley and is thus our coolest climate site. Old vines are planted to wide spacing during the era when larger tractors dictated that plenty of room be provided perform the farming work. The large sprawling vines are quadrilateral cordon Clone 4 on AXR rootstock. Sandy Goldridge soil provides these vines fertile ground to grow strong.