Matters Of Estate
It is at this time of year that Derek really appreciates that everything produced at Naggiar is “estate grown, produced, and bottled.” If you’ve been with me for a long period of time (thank-you, thank-you, thank-you) you might possibly remember that I did a post talking about how all of our wines are completely, 100%, from the Naggiar Estate- no part leaves the winery until you carry it out of the tasting room or we ship it somewhere. But since this is such an integral part to who we are and a major part of what makes Naggiar so unique and harvest is the time where the benefits to doing everything in-house really become apparent, I thought a more in-depth look at what it means to be 100% estate grown would be worth another post. That, and after last week’s monster post (well, monster for me), I thought we could all use a breather.
To be able to say a wine is “estate grown, produced and bottled”, you need to have your legal p’s and q’s in order; meaning, what is in the bottle came from the property and never left, nor was there any outside fruit or juice brought in to make the product. This little phrase right there truly does put Naggiar in a unique position- the bulk of wineries out there do not own 100% of the grapes used in making their wines. For those that do own their own vineyards, but need additional fruit, they purchase from other vineyards or wineries (Naggiar sells grapes as well) or purchase bulk juice or wine. Heck, there are plenty of wineries that don’t even own any vineyards and rely strictly on buying grapes and/or bulk wine/juice to make their wines. And this is all perfectly fine, in fact, with the larger wineries, it’s the only feasible way to get enough fruit. But since it is not very common to be 100% estate, we really like to emphasize that fact whenever we can- we have the horn and we will toot it!
Yes, but what does it all mean? And why is it especially important at this time of year? (I know, I’ve just read your mind). One hundred percent ownership means one hundred percent control over everything but Mother Nature. We control how much fruit is on the vine, how much water we give, when we prune, when we drop fruit, how much fruit we drop- if Derek had the notion to keep only one cluster per vine, he could-he’d probably get fired- but it’s an option. Kidding aside, Derek does drop fruit heavier than a traditional grower would as he is looking to concentrate flavor, even-out fruit development and mature tannins rather than keep as much on as possible as every dropped cluster is money on the ground. Coming back around to my opening statement, harvest is really when those benefits show up. When you purchase fruit from other vineyards, you are at the mercy of their schedule and your optimum time to harvest might not be their optimum time. There is no need to worry about factoring in transport set-up since the fruit is right at the front door of the winery and can be picked on a day’s notice. At Naggiar, not a single block is more than a quarter of a mile away, so close in fact, that Derek, in a bid to squeeze in some exercise, now pedals around the vineyard on a mountain bike to check all the vines. This all helps to make Derek a happy camper, which helps me because someone can kind of be a cranky-pants during harvest.
Well, so much for a breather- but when one is so blessed to be able to do everything on site, from vine to wine, it is a very post-worthy thing- Toot Toot!