It has been said that summer is when the earth is exhaling, breathing out greenery, life and energy; and winter is when the earth is inhaling, breathing in energy, calmness and rest. This time of year is when we take a deep, refreshing breath in. It is when we mull over the completion of our last season and gear up for another exhalation of a new season. Our vines have lignified, have become dormant, and are buried under the soil to protect them from the cold winter temperatures—they are off to a well deserved rest.
Our Gewurztraminer block off to rest for the winter with a recent covering of snow.
In the Winery, our wines are in the stage known as élevage. This is a term that loosely translates to aging, growing or evolving. The magical thing about wine is that it is dynamic; it is alive. The results that we received after fermentation are just the beginning, which makes this period of élevage vital. This stage will evolve a raw, post-fermentation wine into something more mature, complex and full of character. The wine gains substance during this time. The outcome of élevage is largely a result of enzymatic and molecular reactions and interactions, including interactions with oxygen and the vessel that the wine is housed in. The length of time of élevage, and the actions of me, the winemaker, are other factors that can affect the outcome of élevage. Some wines such as our Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, and rosés will have a shorter élevage period, which means that we will bottle them in the spring to capture some of the youthfulness. Other wines such as our Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Meritage will stay aging in barrels for up to two years, allowing the wine to mature and truly evolve. The élevage process will continue even once the wine is in bottle. This is why we pay particular attention to when we release our wines for sale and monitor how our wines are aging over time.
So enjoy the energy, calmness, and rest that winter brings—we'll see you next post!