Vineyard: Originally planted by Martha’s grandparents, Pasquale & Maria Bastoni in 1906, she and her husband, Russ Messana, now cultivate 35 acres of vines. After a century of growing Zinfandel, Palomino, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, and Carignane, the vineyard had to be replanted in 2005 when yields became too low to maintain. Her grandfather and father sold their fruit to a variety of wineries over the years, including Italian Swiss Colony, Charles Krug, and Geyser Peak. Currently planted with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Alicante Bouschet, the Messanas sustain a family tradition of farming and community in the Fountaingrove District AVA just east of Santa Rosa.
Vintage: 2018 started slowly, with little pressure from the weather, providing the grapes with a long hang time to develop ripeness and flavor maturity without over-ripening. In early October, Mother Nature delivered a quick tango of heavy rain that prompted us to use canopy management techniques to open the fruit zone, allowing the sun and wind to dry out the remaining fruit. Even though more than an inch of rain fell during the middle of harvest, it had little or no impact on Zinfandel grapes. Overall, fruit quality has been excellent with very little shrivel, and little or no rot.
Winemaking: Miro handled the fruit in the gentlest way possible. The grapes were hand-sorted and fermented in small open-top fermenters with minimum hand punch-downs per day. As usual, his goal is to maximize the beautiful Zin aromas and minimize tannic harshness. The wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels. The wine aged in 25% new European oak barrels for about 17 months.
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