After a gentle foot treading, the grapes were loaded directly into the pneumatic membrane press ("bladder press"). The pressed juice was settled overnight and then racked off gross lees to tank to begin fermentation. Once primary fermentation completed, the wine was racked again to neutral oak barrels to finish secondary malolactic fermentation and continue its relatively short élevage. We limited lees contact throughout fermentation and bottled the young wine in late February to further highlight Vermentino's characteristically bright and salty acidity.
Venturi Vineyards in Mendocino County; certified organic; dry farmed on Pinole gravelly loam soils.
This uncommon grape brings familiar flavors of a buzzing summer day with zesty lime, a luscious body, and a touch of grapefruit pith. Smells like powdered sugar on a lemon bar and a warm picnic table.
When Larry Venturi planted a small parcel of his vineyard to Vermentino—along the quartz scattered, stony spine that snakes through his property reminding us where the Russian River flowed hundreds of years ago—and asked me if I’d like to make wine from it, I didn’t hesitate. Larry had never grown Vermentino, but being half Tuscan and half Piedmontese, doesn’t shy away from Italian grapes. Moreso, Larry knows his land and climate—it’s hot and dry—and he thought Vermentino, which thrives on the arid island of Sardinia, would also thrive in his little corner of inland Mendocino. Plus, he said, “Vermentino is a nice grape, kind of between a good Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay”. As with his other parcels, this Vermentino is dry farmed (non irrigated) and head trained, which concentrates both the flavor and acidity of this wine. This wine is a complex sipper, best with food. I’m glad to know Larry, I’m overjoyed he’s still experimenting well into his 70’s, and I feel honored that he came to me to bring this new parcel into wine. It also feels pretty good that he immediately ordered two cases upon trying the resulting wine!
Production: 94 cases
12% alcohol. SO2 at bottling (February 2021): 3 mg/L free, 53 mg/L total. Residual sugar: 0.7 g/L. Unfiltered. Sediment expected.