About The Vineyard
We selectively hand harvested 85% of these grapes from one block of the Peppone Vineyard in the Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA) and then brought them to our winery in Rutherford. This vineyard’s warm mesoclimate and lean, well-drained soils give our Malbec its highly extracted dark-fruit flavors and characteristic floral and spice nuances. Malbec, a prized grape variety that was cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years, was nearly abandoned there in the last century because it yields few clusters if bloom occurs under cool, rainy conditions. Some Malbec cuttings made it to dry Calistoga—at the northern end of Napa Valley—where they found ideal conditions for their temperamental personality. We complemented the juicy, ripe fruit character from the Calistoga vineyard with a small amount of Malbec from Napa Valley’s Mt. Veeder AVA, which contributed interesting notes in the dark-fruit spectrum.
We gently destemmed the grapes to retain about 60 percent whole berries, and then we cold soaked the grapes for three days for gentle extraction. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks was followed first by extended maceration before pressing and then by in-barrel malolactic fermentation. Barrel aging developed the wine’s flavors while seamlessly integrating French oak nuances.