2007 Vineyard Selection Process: Part One
Before I delve into greater detail about the winemaking, I thought I would back things up and provide you with a closer look at our vineyard selection process. Early on we knew that we wanted to make a barrel each of pinot noir and chardonnay. There were two primary factors driving this decision--first, these are two of our favorite varietals and second, choosing them made the most sense from a financial perspective. The lead times are much shorter relative to cabernet, for example, which means less capital would be tied up in inventory. Another way to look at it is we would have needed double the start-up cash to launch the business if we were just making a cabernet or syrah. So in effect, we'll be relying on the cash flow generated from our success with the pinot and chardonnay to eventually help finance the longer aging wines we plan to offer down the road. I have some future posts planned in which I'll give you an "inside" look at the financial aspects of our business, but for now let's get back to the wines and vineyards.
Crushpad currently has about 46 different vineyards to choose from, with more additions likely for next year. We were able to taste some finished pinot produced by a few other wineries making wine at Crushpad while attending the Boston Wine Expo this past spring. We also conducted a "grand tasting" on our kitchen table with some 2006 barrel samples that Crushpad sent us. The lineup was as follows:
- Pinot Noir - Wentzel Vineyard - Anderson Valley
- Pinot Noir - Hein Family Vineyard - Anderson Valley
- Pinot Noir - Sleepy Hollow Vineyard - Santa Lucia Highlands
- Chardonnay - Alder Springs Vineyard - Mendocino
- Chardonnay - Sleepy Hollow Vineyard - Santa Lucia Highlands
If you stop and take a look at the above list it really is amazing that as a start-up producer--conducting operations from the East Coast no less--we had the luxury of cherry picking from those remarkable vineyards. In part II I'll give you some more pics of our home tasting along with our thoughts on these very young wines--starting with the pinots.
TO BE CONTINUED...