With a few tons of Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc harvested in August, we make our Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard sees no product that is not certified organic. With a few drums and French oak barrels, we hold the wine in small containers for fermentation to keep the wine from getting too hot and protect the aromas after the fermentation has completed. After the wine finished fermentation, we stirred the barrels a few times to build the mouthfeel and added a small amount of Sulfur Dioxide to protect the wine. This wine was unfiltered and unfined. The alcohol is 12.7% for the 2020 vintage. This wine is a pure and natural representation of Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Creek Valley.
The Sauvignon Blanc is not the only fruit I work with from Dry Creek Valley. I buy some Grenache Blanc and Marsanne from Preston Family Vineyards at the far end of Dry Creek Valley. Grenache Blanc is great when we pick it early, with fresh fruit flavors and a large amount of natural acidity. I let the wines start fermenting on their own. I blend the two varietals during fermentation to better combine the aromas. The Marsanne is picked two to three weeks after the Grenache Blanc. Marsanne lifts the mid pallet and gives this wine length.
The 2021 Preston Vineyard Grenache Blanc (64%) Marsanne (36%) was fermented in primarily seven-year-old neutral barrels and two once-used barrels.
Acid-dominated Chardonnay is the only Chard I was going to make. I am just not a fan of oaky, buttery fruit bombs. There are only a few sites where my style would work in California. Vineyards with soils and weather that do not allow the vines to grow strong are perfect for Chardonnay. Arroyo Seco, in the middle of Monterey county, has a few spots that I like. One of those sites is in Zabala Vineyard, in the heart of Arroyo Seco in Monterey County. The sand and river-rock at Zabala give us great concentration. Then with cool afternoon breezes that protect the acid in the fruit and shade from giant Poplar trees, I was excited to make wine from this unique place. On average, Chardonnay is not that exciting to me. When the fruit arrived at the winery in 2021, I was glad to work with fruit I knew from 10 years prior.
The 2021 Zaballa Chardonnay was fermented and aged in primarily seven-year-old neutral barrels.
You can purchase all three of these wines by clicking below. I cover all or parts of the shipping costs for orders over six bottles. I am also happy to drop off wine in parts of Northern California. (The drop-off area encompasses the East Bay, North Bay, and the Highway 80-50 corridor up to the foothills.) You can also pick up or purchase the wines at the winery, 1200 American Way, Windsor, Ca.