50% Colombard, 25% Chenin blanc, 25% Chardonnay
The three varietals in Honeymoon 2020 were fermented separately, each in neutral French oak barrels. At crush, both the Chenin blanc and Colombard grapes were pressed immediately, settled and then racked off heavy less, and barrel fermented. Prior to pressing the Chardonnay we first food-tread the grapes, a gentle technique to slightly increase the tannin extraction of the juice (and textural expression of the wine). The wine spent 11 months on fine lees, developing a rounded richness to balance the bright acidity, before final blending and bottling. Fun fact: we reserved a small portion of the just-fermenting Chardonnay to naturally inoculate our sparkling Solera Chardonnay base wine.
Colombard from Ricetti Vineyard in Redwood Valley; planted in 1948; dry farmed (no irrigation); certified organic.
Chenin blanc is from King Vineyard grown with compost teas and without pesticides and herbicides, clay soils.
Chardonnay is from Hawkeye Vineyard in Redwood Valley; organic.
Aromas of candied melon and alpine herbs embrace a taste of almond skin. Bright acidity and a rounded texture offer a balanced, easy-going finish.
We typically let Colombard hang on the vine through the harvest season to develop the Chenin-like qualities that make the grape so compelling. Due to the threat of wildfires in 2020, we chose to pick early (early September rather than late October) and add Chenin to express the textural signature of the wine.
The star of our Honeymoon is the 70 year-old Colombard from dry farmed, head trained vines. When young, Colombard can throw a large crop and has largely been written off as a blending/filler grape, or has been used traditionally for distillation into cognac. However, with old vine age, dry farming, and by allowing a long hang time, Colombard can be as complex as its parent, Chenin blanc. Supported partners Chardonnay and Chenin blanc add extra texture and layers to the 2020 Honeymoon.
The 2019 growing season was marked with abundant sunshine—but no rain—as the 2020 vintage developed within the buds on the vine. As the 2020 harvest came, so did drought (and the worst fires and smoke we’ve ever seen). The vines felt this stress, and it marked the fruit with soaring acidity and very concentrated flavors. The Honeymoon 2020 is a wine of beautiful extremes, born out of this stress. I picture the spirit of this wine as a female warrior leaping down from the sky with lightning streaking from her hair (I know, wild right?). The 2020 is dramatic and gorgeous.
Production: 282 cases
12% alcohol. Unfined. Unfiltered. At bottling (August 2021): free SO2 2 mg/L, total SO2 32 mg/L; 0.3 g/L residual sugar.