Winemaking at Our Oregon Winery
Great Oregon Pinot noir is made in the vineyard. Through the grace of nature, from soil to vine, barrel to bottle, we offer Dionysus’ gift to your table. Given an optimum site our vinicultural goals are to limit crop load, control disease, and allow physiologic maturity to manifest in tandem with optimum sugar and acid levels.
Limiting Crop Load
All decisions concerning fruit load are made with an eye toward quality, not quantity, of the finished bottle. Our strategies for decreasing crop load depend on the weather.
During spring flowering, if Mother Nature limits crop load for us, we will drop clusters that are still green during veraison (change in berry color from green to red) in late July or early August.
If crop load is high after flowering we do a "green harvest" and, if necessary, we do it again during veraison.
Vinification (Wine Making)
Vinification is done with a minimalist approach. After hand-sorting Pinot noir clusters for optimum quality, 80-100% destemmed berries, with 0-20% whole clusters depending on the vintage, undergo five to seven days of a cold soak prior to fermentation, which is induced with moderately vigorous yeast. Peak temperatures during the 10-14 day fermentation reach no more than 92° F with one to two punch-down regimes per day, depending on tannic structure. Fermentations are lightly pressed and racked to settling tanks for two days and then gently transferred to 25% new French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation, when tart malic acid is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid, usually completes in February or March and an additional six months in barrel allows for a final integration of flavor.
No fining or filtration precedes bottling. Nysa is aged in barrel for one year and in the bottle for two years before release to allow the subtle complexity of the site’s terroir to express itself when served at your table. Patient cellaring for a minimum of six years from the vintage date is rewarded by a classic bloom of secondary flavors, balanced with delicate acidity, that only fine Pinot noir achieves.