In the Vineyard
One of the wine world's classic maxims is "The quality of the
wine starts in the vineyard." This applies as much to the
quality of nourishment as it does to the quality of flavor and
Organic agriculture has come of age in the 90's. The word
organic is now recognized as being synonymous with quality.
Organically grown grapes are, for starters, free of any chemical
insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers which compromise the
taste as well as being hazardous to the consumer. Organic
practices are based on the premise that healthy plants require
soil. Living soil provides the complete nutrient requirements of
the vines, which translates into grapes and wines which display
full varietal character and flavor.
The yield of the vineyard must be controlled to produce an
adequate quantity of grapes without compromising quality. Each
growing season varies considerably (Viva La Difference!) and
requires the watchful eye and experience of our wine grower to
adapt shoot and spur placement, cluster thinning, and leaf
thinning to these climatic fluctuations.
The advantages of an Estate Winery are most apparent at
harvest time. Estate Bottled Wines are those made by wineries
which are located right at their vineyards. The winemaker and
the wine grower at China Bend can be found together in the
vineyards daily as the harvest approaches, monitoring Brix,
and pH to determine when the natural sugars and acids are in
perfect balance, and tasting for the moment of perfect
The grapes are then hand picked. This allows us to select only
those clusters which are ripe and ready. Each cluster is
inspected to make sure no rotten fruit , leaves, or debris are
mixed in with the grapes. The clusters are carefully placed
into small boxes and taken directly to the winery.
In the Winery
Natural winemaking is at once simple and exacting; easy as
labor intensive; ancient and state of the art modern. Our
winemaking style is determined and defined by our commitment
to make wines which preserve the maximum nutritive values and
express the fullest character and flavor without manipulating,
altering, or adding anything which would compromise its
It is to our great advantage that the grapes which come from
our vineyards are perfectly mature and balanced. This
eliminates the need to add sugar, acids, or anything else to
compensate for less than perfect grapes.
Eliminating the need to add sulfites is the biggest challenge
we face. Extreme care and precautions are required to prevent
contamination and oxidation at every step of the process, from
harvest and crush though aging and bottling. This means alot
of intensive labor and lends itself more to hand-crafted wines
than mass produced wines.
We don't use sulfites not only because they affect our health
but also because they affect the flavor of the wine. Sulfites
mask, supress, and often overpower the natural taste
In the Glass
All of these factors combine to produce wines which are
satisfying to the palate as they are satisfying to ones desire
for healthy fare.
Our naturally dry white wines are full bodied and yield a
fruity bouquet to the nose, but are crisp and clean on the
Our red wines are deeply colored and full bodied displaying
wonderful complexity and layer after layer of delicious
Our wines are released from our cellar only after they have
become mature and perfect to enjoy now.