The grapes were destemmed but not crushed and transferred to stainless steel fermentation tanks. As a result, a significant portion of the fruit remained either intact as berries or in partial cluster. We find that whole berry or cluster fermentation of our Zinfandel grapes helps produce a concentrated, fresh and forward raspberry-like character in the resulting wine. This fermentation from inside the berry itself ""seals"" in a true fruit character and minimizes the possibility of extracting harsher, bitter tannins from the grape skins.
We kept fermentation temperature at 85o F for five days. The must was circulated frequently in order to keep the cap cool and moist. We feel this process accentuates the wonderful zesty character of the Zinfandel grape. The fermenting wine was removed from skins and seeds before it reached total dryness.
The juice then underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the acids. After settling, the wine was racked into a combination of French, American, and European medium toast oak barrels for twelve months to deepen the flavors and add the spicy, toasty layers to the wine.