First the grapes mature and ripen in the vineyard, then the yeast mature in the winery, last we get the wine. Right now we are working to keep the yeast happy. Here’s a picture of the grapes hosting a yeast feast! We want the yeast to warm up and begin fermenting in an orderly way. Like everything else in the natural winemaking process, the small details really influence the character of the resulting wine. We want our yeasts to move fast, but not race. To move quickly, but not get out of control. To grow and diversify in the tanks and barrels, but not monopolize either. Yes, you get it – we want to walk the line with the yeasts. I’m happy to say that the beautiful Fall conditions provided us with near perfect fruit meaning the berries came in intact, firm and healthy. That makes the line easier to walk: healthy grapes withstand the pressures from unruly yeasts much better than damaged grapes.
– Barbara Steele