We're doin' things a little different this spring with our first-ever Carbonic Maceration Natural Wine.
Say what? Lemme break it down for you. Most of the wine that you're used to sippin' on is made from the standard yeast-fueled fermentation, where grapes are destemmed, placed into tank, and either naturally occurring or manually added yeast strains convert the grape juice into alcohol. When wines are made via Carbonic Maceration, fermentation begins inside each individual berry. Crazy, right? First, we started by placing while clusters of Cinsault into our fermentation tanks and pumping the sealed vat full of carbon-dioxide to remove any oxygen. This causes the berries to release an enzyme that functions similarly to yeast and begins turning the grape sugars into alcohol. After a certain amount of time in tank (ours took nine days), the wine reaches 2% ABV, and the berries begin to burst. From there, we put the fermenting clusters through our press and back into the fermentation tank they went. At this point, native yeasts naturally occurring on the fruit finish the fermentation process, and the wine is placed into neutral French oak barrels to await bottling. Because we went au natural on this one, there was no fining, filtering, or any additions to the wine throughout the entire process.
The grapes come from a young vineyard called Snows Crossing in El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills. Because it sits at an elevation of 3100', the grapes get a nice cool breeze throughout the growing season with plenty of sunshine. The result? Perfectly ripened fruit with just the right amount of acidity. The soils are primarily red volcanic with granite and iron oxide, which makes it perfect for growing Rhone varietals like Cinsault. We got word of this unique vineyard back in the spring of 2018 through our talented grower and friend, Ken Musso, who manages the property. We had long been on the hunt for more unique varieties and when Ken drove us up to Snows Crossing to show us his prized grown Cinsault and Tocai Friulano blocks we committed to the site and the grapes right on the spot. The words “we'll take 'em” probably left our lips about 2 minutes after we had stepped foot in the vineyard. We used grapes from this vineyard for Some Girls, but they also made an appearance in Stars Like Ours and few other unreleased wines yet to come.
Our label for this unique limited production wine features a photograph of the top half of a hand-painted female mannequin from the 1960s. As we were wandering through a local thrift store, we were captivated by the character and personality of the vintage piece. With a brightly painted face, pink lips and alluring aqua eyes, she reminds us that Some Girls, the cool ones at least, dance to the beat of their own drum. We believe that being different is good and that we don’t always have to conform–we can grow, dream, and be anything we want. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered with no added sulfites allowing this girl to find her natural rhythm.
So, how'd it go?
HOLY SHIT ARE WE PSYCHED ABOUT THIS WINE. It's funky, fresh, and oh so much fun. Chill this wine down for about 30 minutes prior to opening, and dance to your own beat! You're going to want to open your bottle (or three) by the Fall Equinox. Act now, because we only made 45 cases.