2010 is our first harvest of Coquerel Verdelho. The vineyard was purchased in 2007 and adjoins our old-vine Sauvignon Blanc vineyard. The Verdelho is planted in a small one acre plot, and the fruit is delicious. After two harvests of tasting yet not using the fruit, we decided to make a fruity dry wine from the Verdelho growing there. It is wonderfully refreshing, light yet crisp and complex on the palate. Our Verdelho has a nose of papaya and grapefruit. The wine mouth feel is crispy and bright, with a creamy mid palate and a lingering finish of exotic fruit. The wine is delicious to enjoy over appetizers or it will pair beautifully with seafood, sushi, East Asian foods, fresh cheeses, or enjoy by itself with good friends.
Hand harvested on September 26th in the early morning, the fruit was gently pressed, the juice settled and was fermented in stainless steel barrels. The wine was aged sur lie for seven months, with frequent stirring to develop roundness, body and texture. The wine was bottled on May 2, 2011 in clear bottles to best showcase our newest wine. We chose a silver screw cap closure as we know this will be a favorite "go-to" wine.
2010 was a cool year and was very challenging for growing grapes, Calistoga experienced low temperatures throughout the spring. Summer brought more cold foggy mornings creating high humidity and increased disease pressure threatening the grapes, especially for botrytis and mildew. We managed our vineyard by hand thinning the canopy while leaving protective leaves around the clusters. Fortunately, these outer leaves protected our crop from destruction during two days of extreme heat spikes near the end of August. The temperatures returned to unseasonably cool levels, and the fruit was checked almost daily from mid August until harvest to ensure the optimal accumulation of sugar for ripeness while closely monitoring the crop for disease.