Preston Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
Vineyard: Dry Creek Valley has a long and rich history of wine production that reaches back to the late 1800s, when local immigrant families originally planted wine grapes. Preston Vineyard farms with a view toward the old ways - less intrusive to the natural landscape and with respect for the long-term health of the soil. This means no herbicides or chemical fertilizers, natural pest control based on interplanting of crops other than grapes, and protection of wild areas adjacent to vineyard blocks. The land on the Dry Creek Valley floor is hot, the soils are well-drained and gravelly, which led Preston to plant grapes from Southern Europe such as Barbera, native to Italy’s Piedmont region.
Vintage: The 2019 growing season began with heavy rains in March and April, which allowed soils to store up plenty of water to weather the dramatic heat spikes we witnessed in June and mid-August. Other than those brief events, the growing season was relatively mild and we were able to take advantage of the extended hangtime from this valley floor site. Harvest occurred on September 24th and yielded grapes with bright, expressive fruit flavors and balanced acidity despite higher sugars.
Winemaking: Our Barbera from Preston Vineyard was destemmed into one open-top tank, where it cold-soaked for several days before fermentation started spontaneously with wild yeast. Fermentation was aided only by a bit of heat and cap management utilizing gravity rack-and-returns and manual punchdowns for two weeks before pressing. The wine aged for 24 months in large neutral oak puncheons and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.