Santa Ynez Valley
For the second year in a row we did an interesting experiment with crop yields. Our normal procedure at Westerly is to thin the crop to half of what the rest of the vineyard yields; since we buy our grapes by the acre rather than by the ton the grower accommodates our needs. In the last two years we were able to buy a ton of fruit from rows quite close to ours that were farmed in the conventional way with higher yields. In each year the low yield wine was more powerful and dramatic and of superior quality.
What is interesting to me is that the low crop wine is both more exciting to taste and more challenging. It is racier in aroma and more tannic in flavor, so it really needs bottle aging time before it can show all its stuff. The high crop fruit is softer and easier, and develops into ready to drink wine more quickly. So although it sounds good to talk about low yields, it is understandable why many winemakers are unwilling to take the steps required because it is not in their immediate best interest. It costs lots more, and its superior quality is difficult to perceive initially. Luckily, we have found customers that appreciate our decidedly different style of sauvignon blanc, and we are thrilled because this wine is so fun to make and drink.
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc | Alcohol: 13.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 7 Months | Total Production: 660 cases