The Pinot noirs from Jim Ball Vineyards stand apart from many others, even so-called cult wines, for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most compelling is that they consist exclusively of Estate Fruit. Fruit that is grown on the land we own. Fruit that, from bud break to harvest, is farmed exclusively by our in-house team of local vineyard experts. Rather than hope to find fruit that meets our exacting standards purchased from outsiders who often farm to their own standards, or purchase fruit that someone grows soley to make a profit, we raise the wine ourselves from the ground up, from choosing the clone to the pruning to the way the vine and the sun and the earth make the grape. Sustainably.
A very expensive proposition to own the land and the equipment and pay the experts to raise the wine and wait years until the vines are ready to make world class wine. We think it was worth it.
Our process begins early in the Spring with careful hand pruning. Throughout the Spring and Summer attention is paid each grape vine to coax out the best possible fruit that the vine can offer up. At harvest, grapes are picked in the vineyards by hand at night or in the early morning so that fruit arrives at the winery cool and in pristine condition. The fruit is again inspected when it arrives at the winery. The berries are hand sorted and then processed into small lots.
When primary fermentation is nearly complete, the wines begin malolactic fermentation. The wines are transferred into small French oak barrels for continued aging for up to 20 months. This commitment to the smallest details continues today in the winery, where the idea, and the ideal, of the word "handcrafted" is translated to our hands-on approach the fermentation, punch-downs and racking.
We keep production small, so that we can maintain that intimate connection with the wines. That same thinking led to us to focus exclusively on the Anderson Valley Vineyards. There are another benefit to focusing on one region -- We can physically be in the vineyards any time we need to be, which has a significant impact on viticultural and picking decisions, and ultimately, on quality.
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