We sourced our 2012 Pick and Shovel Zinfandel from three distinct vineyards: our steep, organically farmed estate Zinfandel block, planted atop our wine caves in rocky soil with the DuPratt clone, on St. George rootstock; Sawyer Vineyard Zinfandel, planted with a venerable Dry Creek clone on St. George rootstock, head-pruned and minimally irrigated, on a high bench overlooking Lake Mendocino; and the Petite Sirah, which hails from the dry-farmed Niemi Vineyard in Redwood Valley, where the soil is deep red loam.
The best vintage in recent memory, 2012 was a winemaker’s dream, with adequate rainfall, and a long and even growing season. Harvest began on October 4 at Niemi, where we picked intense, tiny black Petite Sirah clusters. We harvested the Sawyer Vineyard on October 9, and ended with our own Pick and Shovel Vineyard on October 12. The yields on our estate block were just over two tons per acre, which made for rich, black fruit.
The grapes were harvested by hand, de-stemmed and gently crushed into a closed top tank. Native
yeast fermentation began seven days later. Post-fermentation extended maceration with heat followed for one week. Free-run juice was then drained directly into Taransaud barrels, 33% of which were new. Native malolactic fermentation was complete by March, 2013. The wine was racked just two weeks prior to bottling. We bottled unfiltered on June 20, 2014.
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