Grapes for our Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Shiraz wines are harvested at full ripeness and brought to the winery in small boxes. After careful hand-sorting, grapes move through the crusher-destemmer machine and on into oak tanks—or in some cases stainless steel tanks—and are inoculated with native yeasts for primary fermentation. After primary fermentation, the wines are transferred to oak barrels. Here the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in which harsher malic acid is converted to softer lactic acid. Following malolactic fermentation, wines are gently racked from barrel to barrel, leaving their sediment and lees behind. Depending on the varietal, vineyard, and vintage, winemakers give the wines 12 to 24 months of aging in carefully selected oak barrels. Barrels range in type of oak, in age, and in levels of toast—and each variable imparts different characters that interact with and complement a wine’s aromas and flavors. In 2008, we finished a new state-of-the-art winemaking facility to give our Reserve wines kid-glove treatment. The new 10,000-case facility located across from our caves features the finest red winemaking techniques, including whole-berry fermentation, barrel spinning for cap management, and much more. The resulting wines will reflect their terroir with a bold yet elegant intensity.