Creative Juice

From Ground to Glass

While the process of winemaking is bewitchingly complex, my philosophy is simple:  I believe the land provides a sublime rendition of each vintage in the fruit that it produces every year.  No amount of tinkering can improve what is given to us when we first separate fruit from vine – yet its integrity and voice can be distorted and muddled through over-intervention or neglect.

I view my primary responsibility to be facilitating energetic movement, using my physical body and senses as both a guide and watchful sentinel as the fruit slowly transforms over time in the vineyard and cellar, until it reaches its second birth into bottle.

Farmers First

The Alchemy of Expression

After sorting, white grapes are immediately pressed whole-cluster and then fermented to dryness in stainless vessels with no malolactic or oak influences.  Bottling takes place the following spring.

Red grapes are carefully evaluated for sensory qualities and decisions are made about any whole cluster or stem inclusion possibilities. Lots are separated and carefully de-stemmed for whole intact berries.

A Relentless Pursuit of Purity

My goal is to grow and craft wines that express a purity of character that is nearly impossible without personal control of the process from start to finish. Many of the decisions I make at Dovecote challenge tradition and conventional wisdom and are unique to this estate. To preserve this freedom of approach, we are fully independent, self-contained, do not depend on any outside influences, and limit production to ensure I have the time to care for each individual vine, barrel, and bottle from crush to cellar.

  • Our vines are all grown on their own roots without standard protective rootstock.
  • We only make wine from our estate vineyards that we own, control, and personally farm.
  • We farm intuitively and naturally to encourage a wild, diverse, and balanced ecosystem within the vineyard.
  • Everyone who touches the vines and wines lives on the property.  The same family who planted the vineyard in 1990 still farms it today, three generations later.  I live on the ranch full time with my family.  The vineyard is just outside my bedroom window, and the winery is a minute walk from my house.
  • Farming and harvest are all done by hand – we use no power machinery aside from a basic tractor.
  • Fermentations all occur naturally with native, ambient yeast that comes in from the vineyard.  No “designer” lab yeasts ever.
  • I do all of the winemaking personally and manually.  No one else is paid to make wine here.
  • We don’t use any additives, and limit our protective SO2 to the minimum needed to keep wines safe during aging.  Reds are not filtered or fined, and whites are all stainless with no MLF.
  • I make wines with the patience and intention of seeing them improve over time (in some cases multiple decades) and hold each vintage until it is tasting as intended.
  • Our wine never leaves the property from when it is fruit on our vines to the time it is sold.  To maintain quality during bottle-aging, we don’t use outside warehouses or distributors.  Everything — from farming, to winemaking, to bottling, to storage — happens on-site here at the estate.