Our winemaking philosophy starts with the flavors we want our wines to express……the style. We then select site, variety, and work with specific growers who understand our commitment to quality and harvest parameters. Our network of custom growers, and winemaking partners as well as our own vineyard staff and cellar crew all understand the goals for our wines, they are one with the MAWBYness.
Whether a wine is destined to be re-fermented in the bottle, or a pressure tank, our process is somewhat similar. Some of the fruit we use for our sparkling wines is hand tended and hand picked. Some of the fruit is machine picked. In either case, we use varieties that help achieve a desired style and flavor profile. We never press the fruit very hard, thus we start with a clean, low phenolic juice. We settle the juice overnight and then rack to tank for primary fermentation. Our yeast selection is informed by the style of wine we are trying to make. For wines destined for bottle fermentation, we use champagne yeasts that are strong fermenters helping to guarantee that the fermentation finishes with somewhat neutral flavors and aromas. For wines that we have earmarked for tank fermented products, the approach is slightly different. We ferment colder and slower and use yeasts that highlight the fruit flavors and elevate the aromas.
When it is time to re-ferment, we first cold-stabilize the wines. Then we filter the base wine and start a yeast culture of about 5-7% of the total wine volume. This culture of yeast, sugar and wine, will be babied and tended to over the course of 4-5 days. After this time the wine is dosed with sugar, the “starter” culture is added to the wine, and either bottled (Traditional Method) or added to one of our pressure tanks (Cuve Close Method) to referment and age. At this point the two processes diverge. Bottle fermented wines are aged for 1-7 years in a climate controlled warehouse, and tank fermented wines are chilled, filtered and bottled immediately.
We tirage bottle, put the wine in the bottle to re-ferment, in the winter months. We riddle and disgorge our bottle fermented wines all year long. We re-ferment and bottle tank fermented wines all year long as well. Our processes are never ending, overlap, and keep our small crew of wine professionals busy year round.