2017 is our third vintage of this wine, made from the oldest Chardonnay vines at our Quaker Run vineyard (planted in 1999). While it would be easy to call this wine our “Reserve” Chardonnay, that doesn’t get to the heart of what we are doing with the wine. Since we’ve realized this is a special block, we took the approach that we would bottle it separately, from pruning on through fermentation. This meant precision in the vineyard and patience in the cellar. Because of the reliance on ambient yeast for the fermentation, and the ripeness of the grapes, the wine fermented from September 2017 up to harvest of 2018. The wine continued to rest on its lees until December of 2018, when it was bottled.
11 months on the fermentation lees in 300L and 500L casks from northern European oak with light toast, 25% new. An additional 4 months on the fermentation lees in stainless steel before bottling.
2017 was a welcome and accommodating growing season. We saw warm temperatures in March, but after one close call, were lucky to avoid any significant frost events in the spring. Early rainfall throughout the beginning of the season gave way to a dry summer, unlike many we have seen in Virginia. Our warm days and cool nights created a diurnal shift that allowed for ideal ripening conditions, gaining high sugars, while also preserving vibrant acidity in the fruit. Unlike many Virginia harvests, we had the luxury of “waiting” to pick because the customary rains held off.