Taste the Life Within...
Our deep reverence for the Life that actually creates the wine, within the vineyard, winery & barrel, defines our winemaking. Our fundamental question is how best to allow the truest, natural expression of the grapes & life within, each distinct growing year.
Distinction, not uniformity.
Complexity, not expediency or clarity.
Harmony, not dominion.
The Art of Simplicity
Wine Ingredient Labeling
Our back labels (Shoe Shine Wine & varietal designated Solidarity wines) have long transparently listed ingredients (Note: not just "additions") found in the wine.
If any additions to the grapes, they are limited to:
Water: (Reds only) long periods of barrel aging, and water evaporation from barrel, takes it too far away from the expression of the grapes at harvest. We would prefer to eliminate this effect if too pronounced
Yeast nutrients: (Reds only) certified organic -- used only in micro dosage and/if in rare cases -- when sulfide expression during peak fermentation does not subside on its own
Sulphur Dioxide: Preference is to make without any addition, but while some wines have allowed this through their evolution, most do not
"Removals": Our wines are heavy in lees. Vast majority of wines not racked. But if they are, yes, there are some elements lost in sediment left behind. Never fined/ filtered.
What if all along, consumers have always enjoyed "natural wines", w few additives, hazy in appearance, with bits of grape pulp, skins, yeast and bacteria cells idly settled to bottom of their cup? What if that was the norm? (see M.F.K Fisher quote)
Instead, as the wine industry became big business in the past 40 years, winemaking craft evolved, being led in part by 3rd party (non vineyard or winery) industrial additive suppliers, and wine critics ready to trumpet the new "clean and clear" style.
Part of SFMOMA's 2011 Exhibit, "How Wine Became Modern", included a display of additives (See image).
Sediment: "Pure" vs "Clear'
Rather than fining or filtering the Life Within (by adding bentonite, PVPP, gelatin, casein, isinglass, egg albumin, other) we much prefer simple, pure, alive, vibrant expressions from our wines. If it was in the vineyard, winery and vintage then it's in our wines -- but with little else.
Many critics and consumers are returning to a preference for natural wines. These wines may not be clear, but they are as Pure as can be.
Sediment: results from min intervention, and decision to Not add agents/ treat wine which removes haze, sediment (grape pulp, skins, yeast), or acids by precipitating essence of the wine out prior to bottling.
What remains in the bottle is the fruit of the vine from that vintage in its holistic form, and is perfectly safe.
Decanting the wine through a screen leaves the Best of both worlds: the wine developed special character from the Life Within, and you can admire its sediment from afar if you must...
Special Wines, from Special Vineyards.
Our wines are made with the specific intent of having the character of:
- Old and New World wines together
- Tension between Sweet & Savory notes
- Crafted for Food, and ageworthy
- Honoring the Life within...