2001 Founders` Estate ChardonnayThe 2001 vintage had a staggered start - with an early bud-break and fruit-set brought on by a warm spring and a pause caused by the onset of a cold front in April, which also caused an advantageous slight reduction in crop size. Once again, temperatures rose in May for a few days before falling back into a moderate pace that lasted throughout the summer. Consistent temperatures through September enabled the grapes to ripen evenly to full maturity and develop concentrated flavors and aromas.WinemakingBeringer Founders` Estate Winemaker, Ron Schrieve selected fruit for the 2001 Beringer Founders` Estate Chardonnay from various vineyards scattered along California`s cool coastal growing regions and employed two separate winemaking techniques to layer aromas and flavors for maximum complexity. Chardonnay grapes from vineyards on the North Coast contributed apple and pear aromas and flavors, Monterey fruit yielded vibrant stone fruit and pineapple characteristics, while lots from vineyards in Santa Barbara added their customary tropical fruit nuances. After gently crushing the grapes, Ron barrel-fermented approximately 80 percent of the wine and aged it in French and American oak barrels (20 percent new) for nine months to layer subtle spice aromas and add complexity and richness. The remainder was fermented in stainless steel to preserve the bright acidity and highlight green apple and tropical fruit.