The vines are hand-harvested in small lots as each area of the vineyard reaches its peak of flavor and balance of sugar and acid. We don't just schedule a crew and harvest all at once. The harvest crew realizes that tonnage, grape clusters and berries are small. It takes a lot more work to harvest than a high tonnage vineyard.
the one-half ton bin, the grapes are destemmed and placed in 1 1/2 ton
open top fermenters for primary fermentation. The cap formed during
stage is punched down by hand four times per day for greatest skin
We extract color and flavor from the skin by this process.
Over the course of years, both the vines and our winemaking techniques have matured. Experience has been a good teacher. Every vintage has its challenges and rewards. After twelve years of commercial crushes, we have blended tradition and science, refining our cellar methods to suit the demands of our exceptional terroir.
The selection of which wine to which barrel, American or French, old or new, is determined by the brothers, with Gino acting as head winemaker. Each variety has its strengths and subtleties; each demands its perfect match. New French and American oak of the highest quality are purchased every year. The wine with the most depth demands the fullest oak flavors and produces the most complex finished product.
The barrels are racked to pull the new wine off the sediment and into a clean barrel, to start again the gentle falling of the sediment to the bottom of the barrel, leaving clear wine above. No filtering nor fining is done. The aim is to preserve all the fruity aromas the grapes have given. When the wine is bottled, though visually clear, it will still throw some minimal sediment (we use punted bottles). This is a small price to pay for the depth of flavor in the wine glass.
Most wines are given two years in the barrel, a year of bottle age. For example, the 1988 Cabernet Sauvignon was our first of that variety. It shows good fruit, silky tannins and further aging potential. The key is deep, balanced fruit, being careful in the winery and bottling with the best cork.
An average of 100 barrels of wine are produced each year, yielding about 2300 cases of finished wine. To make the best wine we can, we have chosen to retain complete control over the entire process. We only use our own grapes, our own bottling line, we even label each bottle by hand.
We have produced "Bambino Grande," Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva, Chardonnay, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. Each is a reflection of the history of the variety, the Paso Robles viticultural region, and the family's passion for winemaking. Each reflects our goal to present a wine of depth, nuance, and most of all, character, To share with your family and friends: Salute!