Seeking a fatter, riper style for our Kathy’s Cuvee Viognier, we selected the majority of the fruit from the Ripken Vineyard in Lodi. Populated by older vines, this vineyard experiences hot, sun-filled days tempered by cool delta breezes that draw forward the lush tropical fruit and rich, honeyed notes of this varietal. For bright minerality and added structure, we balanced the wine with grapes from Fess Parker Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The cooler climate and French clones of this vineyard produce bright citrus, green apple and mineral notes in the wine.Grapes for our Kathy’s Viognier were harvested in the cool hours of night and hand sorted into small bins. At the winery, the whole berries were pressed and placed into stainless steel tanks. We maintained a cool temperature of 48º F for 30 to 40 days, allowing us to hold the fragrant aromas that distinguish this varietal. During fermentation, we used a variety of yeasts to pull nuances from the fruit, followed by frequent stirring of the lees to fatten the palate. A light dose of oak during four months of aging rounded out the mouth, lending a silky texture to support the middle and carry the flavors from front to back.
Well balanced with depth and complexity, this Viognier easily rivals hearty dishes, including pasta, herb-roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.