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Living Wine

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 character produced.

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 maturity.

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 purity.

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 palate.

Our red wines are deeply colored and full bodied displaying wonderful complexity and layer after layer of delicious flavors,

Our wines are released from our cellar only after they have become mature and perfect to enjoy now.

©2011 China Bend Winery