The grapes for our Viognier come from Rodgers Vineyard, situated just south of Yountville in Napa Valley. Sitting on the valley floor, the vineyard receives radiant sun throughout the day balanced by cool fog in the evenings. For Viognier, the resplendent sun exposure and warm daytime temperatures produce ripe, rich stone fruit character. The cooling afternoon breezes balance the fruit, allowing the development of orange blossom and tangerine layers.
The seductive beauty of Viognier lies in its fresh, dancing aromas and vibrant flavors. But on the vine, the grapes can be rather difficult, demanding ideal conditions and carrying considerably high tannins in their skins. Therefore, winemaking becomes a test of patience, requiring careful coaxing to retain the bright fruit and citrus notes without the tannic bite. We began by destemming the grapes and holding them on their skins for one hour prior to pressing. This extended skin contact gently extracted the natural enzymes and optimized the aromas in the grapes. Gentle pressing with minimal rolls further curbed any tannin extraction, followed by a cool fermentation at a cool 55° F for 32 days in stainless steel. This long, slow fermentation retained the delicate aromas and flavors, capturing a bright, fresh style