Our Muscat Canelli comes from the Solari Vineyard, nestled at the base of Mount Saint Helena in the northernmost wedge of Napa Valley, along the Napa River. Run by the Solari family for three generations, this vineyard is meticulously maintained. The vines are pruned in a unique style: two long and two short canes are braided along the wire, leaving the bright orange- and gold-flecked clusters evenly spaced. Composed of deep volcanic tufa and loam soils, the vineyard is dry farmed and benefits from two cooling influences, one from down valley and the other from the west through the Knights Valley gap along the Russian River. The wide difference in temperatures between the warm days and the cool nights is favorable because, as Winemaker Mike Westrick puts it, “we like to leave these grapes hanging until they’re crying.”
To get the rich, ultra-ripe flavors for our Muscat Canelli, we patiently waited until the fruit reached 28º to 32º Brix before we hand harvested it. At the winery, the grapes were destemmed, followed by a pre-press maceration. This process, which allowed extended skin contact, gently released the aromas out of the skins without any harsh phenolic influences. The fruit was then gently pressed, cooled, settled and racked into stainless steel for a long, cool fermentation. When the wine approached the appropriate level of residual sugar, we decreased temperatures, arresting fermentation and leaving a touch of sweetness.