2020 Grenache Blanc
Vineyard: The confluence of three overlapping AVAs at Ceja Farms – Sonoma Coast, Carneros and Sonoma Valley – produces a unique environment that benefits our Grenache Blanc in myriad ways. The ocean breezes through the Petaluma Gap combine with the fog rolling off the northern reaches of the bay to provide a consistently cool climate and long hang time, perfect to retain acidity necessary for a crisp white wine. Unusual for the region, the soil in this block is deep, dark and rich, with volcanic material combining with clay to produce vibrant, expressive flavors.
Vintage: A dry winter with just half of the region’s normal rainfall caused lower vegetative growth and vigor than in previous years, indicating that yields would be lower in 2020 than the bumper crops of 2018 and 2019. Average degree days throughout the year were a bit higher than the 10 year average, but temperatures were consistent without heat spikes. Berries were small, with concentrated flavors, typically a good recipe for quality. A mid-August lightning storm caused wildfires which threatened vineyards throughout the western parts of the county, but the smoke stayed away from Ceja Farms in Carneros until we were able to harvest on September 27th with no measurable smoke compounds in the grapes.
Winemaking: Harvested by hand and whole-cluster pressed, the must was racked into neutral French oak barrels, where fermentation began spontaneously with wild yeast. Primary and malolactic fermentation progressed at a snail's pace throughout the winter before finally going dry in the spring. The wine spent a total of one year aging in barrel before it was blended with 5% Viognier and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
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