and shaded by imposing pine and cedar trees, the
winery is a charming old style red barn and is a perfect starting building for winemaking. A
corner of the winery has been decorated into a small tasting area.
There are also half a dozen picnic tables nearby for people wishing
to have a bite while enjoying the scenic surroundings and we have
plenty of parking for special events. A small bathroom building
completes the guest amenities. Guided winery and vineyard visits
can be arranged.
being well shielded from the sun, the winery building is also well
insulated and cellar temperatures can be maintained by various cooling
approaches. Cool air can be brought in with a whole house fan at
night, a swamp cooler can be used if needed as the temperature warms
up during the day, or air conditioning can be used during heat waves. A
small room, formerly the tack room, is used as a wine lab where Jacques
performs the usual wine analyses (SO2, TA, ph, VA, %Alc., etc.). An
outside crush pad is located at the back of the winery.
date decisions, although a grape grower call at first glance, are
actually made by the winemaker because that date is determined by
the vision for the finished wine and will also have a large impact
on the winemaking. Picking date is often the subject of intense
negotiations between the winemaker and the grower, with the latter
leaning towards picking earlier (minimizes risk and costs) and the
former wanting to stretch it longer (more fruit development or sometimes
winery is just full). Of course owning/operating your own vineyard
takes care of that problem. Harvest can be as early as mid/late
August in warmer years and as late as November in cooler years, with
white grapes generally picked before red grapes.
to pick on the higher maturity side because we believe more intense flavors/aromas
and increased varietal character develop in those last few oBrix (a measure
of sugar concentration). However, we do not want super-ripe grapes because
overly jammy fruit characters can sometimes ensue and the high pH of over-ripe
fruit makes the wine more susceptible to spoilage and can reduce the aging
potential. Riper fruit also means higher sugar and, in turns, higher
alcohol. The fine line to walk is for the increased fruit development
to balance out the higher alcohol and we believe we achieve this.
equipment set is small scale but of
good quality and the techniques used were
selected/developed to support the vision of producing intense, complex, balanced
and varietally expressive wines. Jacques sensory evaluation skills developed
through judging provides a unique advantage in attaining this vision, because
many critical winemaking decisions along the way are based on the accuracy
of this appraisal.
is a very exciting but hectic time. Should you visit us during
that period, you might notice we are not as clean shaven as we should
be and we appear a little ragtag, and sometimes we are even closed
(hard to be in 2 places at the same time). However, the fermentation
aroma in the winery is absolutely wonderful and that makes us smile
and we are sure it will make you smile too.
> Click here for
more detail on Solune's winemaking approach