The journey of a premium wine from grape to bottle is approximately two years.
Pruning – A highly skilled vineyard management practice. Pruning sets the stage for the growing season and guides the canopy in the direction that is best for the grape varietal. Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards custom prunes each vine.
Bud Break – The first leaves leaves emerge from the dormant vines. Bud break occurs later than on the valley floor on Mount Veeder.
Bloom – After weeks of canopy growth, tight clusters of small flowers appear. Each of these flowers is a potential wine grape. Flowering occurs over months as a result of the multiple macro climates on Mount Veeder.
Fruit set – As the pollinated flowers drop their petals, a very small, green sphere emerges at the end of the stem. As these little grapes grow, bunches begin to form.
Canopy Management – A complex process involving a variety of decisions and actions related to leaf removal, vigor management, shoot thinning and shoot positioning. The goal is to achieve the perfect balance of shade, sunlight and air circulation around each grape bunch. This will promote optimal ripening. My vineyard management crew typically makes more than 10 passes through each row of vines in a growing season.
Verasion – The phase of grape pigment development. The daytime heat promotes ripeness and sugar development in the grapes, turning them from green to purple. Verasion takes place over several weeks depending on the weather.
Harvest – This is the grand finale! The growing season culminates in the magic moments when grapes are picked. All grapes are picked by hand and typically in the middle of the night so the grapes can arrive at the winery when they are still cool. Brix (sugar levels) are measured and the grapes are tasted and tested for the desired flavor profile … black cherry, blueberry, black berry, dried fruit and fine grain Mount Veeder tannins.
Crush – Grapes are put into the de-stemmer and come out the other side as individual berries. Grapes are then gently crushed and sent to a stainless steel tank to ferment on their skins.
Fermentation – the time honored process of yeast converting sugar-laden grape juice into wine. Our Cab Grapes spends time on their skins after fermentation to soften the tannins and create deeper color and a denser mouth feel in the finished wine.
Aging – flavors to develop over about two years as the Cab ages in toasted custom-coopered French Oak Barrels. We use 2/3’s new French Oak and 1/3 once-used French Oak barrels. This combination gives the wine an excellent balance and structure and allows for the barrel notes to be prevalent in the finished wine.
Bottling – The wine is transferred from barrels and into shiner bottles (unlabeled bottles). The bottles are moved to my warehouse where they are later hand labeled for each client.