SALINAS, CA, October 4, 2017 – Dave Nagengast, winemaker for Monterey County’s Metz Road Winery, wanted to make sure his 2017 Chardonnay was as true to the Riverview Vineyard as possible. “We knew we wanted to ferment the wine using native rather than commercial yeast. But we realized that if we brought the fruit back to the winery, there was a good chance the commercial yeast strains that live in the building would probably dominate the indigenous yeast strains. So we came up with the novel solution of crushing the grapes in the vineyard.”
Dave and his team brought a small press and refrigerated container to the vineyard to initiate a true Riverview Vineyard indigenous yeast fermentation before bringing the juice back to the winery to complete its barrel fermentation. “We crushed and filled 10 barrels each of the Wente clone and Dijon clone 96. We used 100% new French oak from a couple of our favorite coopers. If we’re happy with the results, we’ll isolate the yeast and send it to a lab to create a culture for future fermentations.”
Says Kurt Gollnick, COO of Scheid Family Wines, “Our Riverview property is a sustainably-farmed vineyard perched on a bench overlooking the Salinas River. It’s located on the east side of the valley just below the Pinnacles National Park. This is an exposed site with little protection from the strong winds that roll through the valley every afternoon. During the summertime, Riverview is typically cooler than comparable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco.”
“So far the quality looks great for Chard,” says Dave. “The flavors are ripe and concentrated and the acids are firm. The Pinot in 2017 also looks superb – great color, quite rich and very intense. This was one of the few sites in Monterey that was unaffected by the heat wave.”
Metz Road is owned by Scheid Family Vineyards. It is distributed nationally in all major markets.