After the difficult growing season in 2018 due to rain, the 2019 vintage year burst forth as a great growing season. Ample sun, just enough rain at the right time to keep the vines healthy and a dry fall at harvest time resulted in wines with beautiful concentration. While the 2019 growing season yielded a smaller than expected harvest, the quality was exceptional! As such, the red wines were almost exclusively made into our first-tier wines.
Once the fruit is picked, destemmed, and crushed, the berries, juice, pulp and seeds all go into a stainless steel fermentation tank. Once the tanks are filled, the juice will rest cool for a few days to extract as much color and flavor as possible. The wine will then ferment at a warm 80-90 degrees with frequent "pump overs" to provide for even extraction. Once fermentation is complete, the juice is drained out of the tanks and put into oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. Once the free-run juice is out of the tank we will press the remaining pommace (the skins, seeds, spent yeast) to extract additional wine. This "pressed wine," as it is called, is barreled separately for malolactic fermentation and aging. Generally, this pressed wine is more tannic and needs longer time in barrel to soften the tannins. Slate uses some of the more tannic, pressed wine in its blend.