Resting in the Cave

What’s happening at Neal Vineyards…

The 2023 vintage is at rest in our cave up in Howell Mountain. These wines will rest from anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Because our wines are not formulated, we will sample throughout the different phases, and determine the timing individually. At Neal Vineyards we don’t make recipe wines so each of our wines is crafted by a thorough tasting and thought process.

With all our efforts farming our land, Biodynamic, and now regenerative organic, it beholds us to have patience working in harmony with mother nature, especially the 2023 Vintage, which was very long season. We received plenty of rainfall, ending February with 12 inches of snow in our Howell Mountain Vineyards. The chill of the early spring and the very mild summer made it a very long growing season. We are excited about this vintage and 2023 reminds us of other cool years, and anticipate the wine quality that we received from those years. 

While our wines gracefully age in the cave, the winemaking team is hard at work with Mark Neal, tasting and evaluating each and every wine continually to monitor its aging progress and development.

Our recent activities in the cellar include racking the 2023 reds once they have completed their primary and secondary, or Malo-lactic, fermentation. The wines can now begin their slow, but deliberate aging to form the perfect wine within barrels in the temperature-controlled environment of our cave.

The life of Neal Family Vineyards wines so far…

Once optimal ripeness is reached the grapes are carefully picked at night at low temperatures to maintain their aromats, taste and freshness, they are processed on our optical sorter, fermented with deliberate consideration of the aromas, flavors and extraction profile we are looking for, pressed and the wine carefully put down to selected barrels.

The wines complete their primary fermentation within barrels then Malolactic fermentation, or secondary fermentation as it is also known, is begun and completed slowly. Once the fermentations are finished the wines are racked out of barrel off the lees or sediment that naturally settles out from the wine over time and returned to freshly cleaned barrels to continue their aging.

During the wines life in barrels we are continually tasting, analyzing and evaluating each wine to make sure they are developing to produce that distinctive Neal Family Vineyard style. This is an aged old process to aid in the development of the wine and is carried out with deliberate care and attention to each individual wine, respecting the characters of the wine and what stage it is at in its life and sensory profile, in regard to aromatic and taste development.

Neal Vineyards is truly a team affair. We truly appreciate all the efforts throughout 2023 season from our farmworkers and winemaking teams.

Want to learn more about our organic, Biodynamic® farming methods? Schedule a tour today!

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