Our classically-produced late harvest wine is the result of Botrytis cinerea, a beneficial mold that evaporates moisture while concentrating the flavor in the berry but yielding very little juice when we press the grapes. We fermented the thick, rich juice and then aged the wine in French oak to develop its subtle flavors and textures. Luscious, ripe fruit aromas of sweet pear, candied pineapple and ripe honeydew melon follow through on the palate with undertones of white flowers melded with balsamic notes and a hint of petrol. Accentuated by uplifting acidity, these dense, ripe fruit flavors beautifully balance the residual sugar. The finish is creamy and complex with a refreshing, lingering minerality. Violetta is spectacular when paired with desserts, such as fruit tarts, crème brûlée, and rich cheeses, or serve it all by itself to end a special meal.
The string of near-perfect vintages continued for the fifth year in 2016, with an early bud break and flowering followed by sunny days and relatively mild temperatures throughout the growing season. We were able to have almost all our grapes safely in the cellar before the valley’s first significant fall rainstorm arrived on October fourteenth. The rain set the stage for the favorable growing conditions for botrytis. Harvesting Violetta required many passes through the vines along with plenty of patience as we waited further development of botrytis.
The grapes were grown at our American Canyon vineyard, which is certified organic. Nestled in the lowest spot of this cool vineyard, we’ve discovered the perfect conditions
of low-lying fog to grow botrytis-affected grapes. In two small blocks we planted a field blend thats predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling with some Gewürztraminer,
and nurtured it to encourage botrytis. Because of the unpredictable nature of botrytis, this wine takes a tremendous amount of work, including several passes to pick individual clusters as they become cloaked in the mold that creates this unique richness and flavors in wine.