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Bottling The 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay

Small Production Bottling

Another harvest is behind us. The 2017 wines have finished fermentation and are in barrels in the cool cellar. With that work done, our attention shifts to bottling the 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay.

We bottled it last week. It was significant because this Chardonnay has our new look and label.

Being small producers we only make about 600 cases total annually. On this day we bottled a total of 218 cases of Chardonnay from just eight barrels.

Here is a fun, short video giving a look behind-the-scenes. Bottling lines can be a little mesmerizing. Personally, I find it meditative.

Our Fruit

Our fruit for this Chardonnay comes from south Napa, closer to the San Pablo Bay. Water serves as a moderating influence, keeping temperatures a bit cooler than other parts of the Napa Valley. This is the perfect climate for Chardonnay.

Cooler evenings help us retain good acidity. During the growing season, starting around the beginning of August, Napa grapes drop in acidity; the warmer the temperature, the greater the drop. Cooler temperatures, especially in the evening, slow that process.

However, we still benefit from the Napa sunshine, working through photosynthesis, to achieve some nice, ripe fruit.

The Wine

This Chardonnay is classic in style, showing very pure fruit. Due to time in French oak, 50% of which was new, the wine shows a light spiciness.

Since the toasted oak puts the wine in contact with caramelized wood sugars, we get some very delicate spice notes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I am very pleased with this wine and hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it.

Cheers, Joe

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