In the context of Virginia vintages, 2017 was both warmer and drier than average. In fact, 2017 was the 4th warmest year in Virginia on record since 1895. After a warm winter, fears of an early bud-break were put to rest by a chilly early spring, delaying bud-break until April 4th. The 2017 vintage saw the earliest start of harvest in our vineyards, with Chardonnay for our sparkling wine beginning to be picked on August 4th. A long, warm, and dry growing season allowed us to harvest each variety and vineyard block exactly when we wanted, waiting for the right balance of sugar and flavor ripeness. This flexibility allowed us to spread out the harvest over a longer period of time, meaning a more casual pace of vineyard work than is possible in most vintages.
Sorting pre and post-destemming, grapes are destemmed, not crushed. Fermentation and maceration will last up to 2 months followed by a gentle pressing. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in barrels. Blending is done in April. Aging 18 months in French oak (45% new oak).