It has been a rollercoaster time for everyone including us, the winemakers in the wine industry. Time falls perfectly when many businesses including wineries' tasting rooms are reopening in Sonoma and Napa County! Most of my wines have been exported and sold in Japan in the past two vintages to my loyal Japanese customers, and finally I will have enough wines to sell in the US and to connect with my new local patrons with new vintage wines this year.
Chardonnay from Oak Knoll District of Napa
The Linda Vista Vineyard is located on the west side of Oak Knoll area, one of the classic Chardonnay growing areas in Napa. Chardonnay grown in the neighborhood won the famous Paris tasting in 1976.The cool winds off the San Pablo Bay helps the grapes to retain fresh acidity and to develop citrus characters. These 25-year old vines were originally planted by Beringer, and Steve and his family have been taking care of these old Olmo clone vines for many years. Grapes are certified organic. I'm very happy to announce that we have just bottled the first of 2019 vintage wines, Linda Vista Vineyard Chardonnay past week. This light touch Chardonnay has been the most popular item since the release of 2018 vintage last summer and served by the glass at Hilton Tokyo for a couple of months and it is almost selling out. As many of my friends and customers know, this precious gem of chardonnay grapes have been grown by Steve Matthiasson, one of the most beloved and respected viticultural consultants in Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. I was able to get my hands on these grapes since 2018 harvest.
Timing Is All About-Harvesting Chardonnay
I have picked this 1.5 tons of Chardonnay in mid September, which is lot earlier harvesting than many other growers in the neighborhood, to retain its fresh acidity. Both Steve and me were quite surprised that the grape chemistries of the grape were almost identical to last year ! (We routinely measure sugar level in Brix, acid in titratable acidity, pH and some other information such as malic acid as maturity guidances before the harvest as many of you may already know!).
Fermenting & Aging-Mother Nature Does the Job
Grapes were gently pressed with whole clusters and fermented in French and Hungarian oaks barrels about 2 weeks. After the completion of primary fermentation, barrels were aged for malolactic fermentation, which took place much longer than last year.
The wine has a bit of malic acid this year unlike 2018 vintage's. We have coarse filtered this year for the stability of wine. The wine's fresh acidity was elevated as a result of touch of malic acid in the wine like a great dry German Riesling. The wine was bottled on May 20 2020, with production of 77 cases.