Winemaking

Dovecote’s winemaking philosophy is simple:  We believe the land provides a sublime rendition of each vintage in the fruit that it produces every year.  No amount of winemaking can improve what is given to us when we first separate fruit from vine – yet its potential can be spoiled through over-intervention or neglect.  Our responsibilities are those of watchful sentinals and vigilant guardians as the fruit slowly transforms over time until it reaches its second birth into bottle.  The means by which we embody our collective philosophy are as follows:

We are Farmers First

99% of our effort is invested into the cultivation of our vines.  We believe they are the instruments, their fruit are notes and chords, and our wine is the music we are ultimately able to share.  We are flexible, curious, and adaptive throughout each vintage.  We view every vine as the separate and sovereign entity that it is, attempting to discover what individual story it has to tell and what it may need to maintain balance and harmony as each season unfurls.  We are patient and allow our vines to ripen slowly at their natural pace and yield, and we cultivate balanced and diverse ecosystems that foster honest and sustainable expressions of fruit, year after year.

Among the many important responsibilities we assume in tending our vines, we believe that the single most impactful decision we can make that will have the greatest impact on the resulting wines is the day and time we harvest each grape cluster we bring in for crush.

 

  • Fruit is always gently hand-harvested during cold nights in accordance with the moon.  We then meticulously hand-sort every load.
  • White grapes are immediately pressed whole-cluster and then fermented dry 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 ratios.
  • Following a 5-9 day sealed cold soak, reds are then brought out to the sunlight and allowed to spontaneously begin fermentation with only native yeasts endemic to their vineyard of origin. No lab-based yeasts are ever introduced so that the native micro-terroir is kept pure.
  • Red fermentations are refreshed via punchdown and/or pump-over 2-3 times daily depending on the stage and vigor of sugar conversion.
  • When red fermentations are dry, they are pressed to tank to settle out gross lees and then gently racked to barrel where they age sur lie for up to two years before blending and bottling.
  • All red press fractions are kept separate throughout elevage and serve as a palette of flavors, aromatics, and textures as final cuvées and reserves are ultimately assembled.