There is a stretch in the heart of the Russian River Valley just about where the river makes its turn toward the coast that is ideally suited for Chardonnay grapes. The daytime temperatures are slightly warmer than the more coastal areas, allowing tropical and stone fruit flavors to develop, while still maintaining the elegance and minerality for which great Chardonnays’ are known. It is here that we harvest the chardonnay for California Square. The grapes are whole cluster pressed for enhanced texture and extraction of skin flavors. Approximately 70% of the wine was fermented in French Oak barrels with active lees stirring during primary and secondary fermentation to enhance mouth feel and complexity (think lemon creme brulee on the palate. Yum). The stainless steel portion was slowly fermented at cooler temperatures to protect the more delicate and pretty floral and fruit flavors.