Roll Ranch, Ventura County
In 2012, we were able to pick very ripe grapes that also had excellent acidity. The result was one of our best viognier desert wines to date. Hugely sweet with a note of orange zest, this wine remains fresh and engaging. Liquor-like richness makes it the natural accompaniment for fruit-based desserts, but I like it best with pumpkin pie.
We take ripe viognier grapes from Roll Ranch to a commercial freezer in Oxnard, and when they are solidly frozen they are transported back to the winery and pressed immediately. The first juice that is pressed out before the grapes have a chance to thaw is extremely sweet. We take this syrupy stuff and ferment it in older barrels, stopping the fermentation before the alcohol level gets very high. The resulting wine is golden in color, has a great flowery aroma, and is sweet and unctuous.