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In 1992, we harvested our first two tons of Pinot Noir from four rows atop a knoll in the southwest corner of Carneros. Producing but five barrels, this marked the beginning of Ancien Wines. In the years since, we have continued our pursuit of those rare and special plots where Pinot Noir can rise from great to sublime. We have added to our pursuit of Pinot Noir, the production of its close relative, Pinot Gris, as well as its Burgundian sibling, Chardonnay. For both of these white wines, we closely follow the French artisanal tradition of in-barrel fermentation and aging.
Our winegrowing philosophy starts in the vineyard. We are fully tuned in to the needs of our vines, as it is essential in ensuring we grow the most flavorful fruit. We emphasize organic farming techniques such as composting to ensure our vines are healthy not only throughout the growing season but over the long term. Every viticultural decision can have implications for quality.
Turning to winemaking in the cellar, the goal is simple: we want to capture everything good our grapes have to offer. We endeavor to walk the tightrope of balance between the cerebral and the hedonistic. Savor and think about our wines: their layers, their nuance, their complexity, and their ability to evolve and age – if that is what moves you (It moves us!). Or just drink them because they are delicious! (We do that too!).
Finally, we would say all great wines ultimately reveal the uniqueness of their vineyard source. We avoid manipulating the wines to impose a “house” style, and instead guide each wine to completely show their own personality. You might say that we do as little as we possibly can to make great wine. To this end, we pay an almost absurd amount of attention to the extraction of flavors and colors, patiently coaxing out their full richness and every subtle distinction. Each vineyard that we work in presents a unique confluence of climate, soils, clonal selection, and age. Each vintage presents another delicious beginning of a journey to the bottle, and ultimately your glass.
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