EnRoute Rosé Returns! Stock up while you can here.

Vacation? Nope. Evaluation!


Now that all of the grapes have been harvested, fermentations completed and the wines are in barrel, what exactly does a Pinot Noir winemaker do during the winter? Go on vacation! Just kidding. In all honesty, this may actually be the most stressful time in the entire winemaking cycle: The evaluation of our performance from the just completed vintage. We go into each vintage knowing exactly what wine we want to make. Of course, we hope for a perfect growing season, and sometimes come close, but Mother Nature usually manages to throw us a curveball. So, we make decisions on the fly and adjust accordingly. So how did we do in the 2011 vintage? I could present lots of numbers, charts and graphs that would make a strong argument for “great,” but in the end, wine isn’t really about numbers, and so we boil the question down to its essence: “How does it taste?” And that’s just what we do…we taste. Dirk, our director of winemaking, and I gather barrel samples from all of the just-finished wines and conduct a formal tasting. We assess color, aroma, mouthfeel, intensity, finish and our expectations of how each lot may impact the final “Les Pommiers” blend. If we feel that adjustments should be made, then this is the time to do it. At our tasting last week, the wines were showing intense aromatics of Bing cherry, pomegranate, and plum with undercurrents of mineral and earth. On the palate, youthful tannins coat the mouth and with a little more barrel age, they will become the silky, melting tannins that EnRoute has come to be known for. All in all, I think 2011 has great finesse and layers, even in this early stage of barrel aging. I cannot wait to watch – and taste - as it evolves over the next few months.

Related Posts

Winery & Vineyard Life The Keys to Far Niente's Cave Collection: Crafting Age-Worthy Cabernet


The Keys to Far Niente's Cave Collection: Crafting Age-Worthy Cabernet

In anticipation of our annual Cave Collection release, we sat down with Winemaker Nicole Marchesi to talk about Far Niente's Cave Collection and the keys to making age-worthy Napa Valley Cabernet. Read on to hear what she has to say. Then mark your calendars for the January 17 release from Far Niente's Cave Collection. This year’s allocation is one of our most limited to date, with less than 100 bottles available for our most sought-after vintages.

"Each vintage is our opportunity to make our greatest wine. It's what inspires us in the vineyard and winery."

Winery & Vineyard Life Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style


Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style

Non-malolactic fermentation. Although the phrase doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, Chardonnays made without it certainly can. And it’s essential to our Far Niente Chardonnay house style.

Winery & Vineyard Life Women in Wine


Women in Wine

Meet Six Women Shaping the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards.

Two winemakers. One CFO. Two VPs. And the woman who helped launch Far Niente more than 40 years ago. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down to talk with just a few of the women shaping the way we grow, make, sell and share our wines. From the cellar to the board room, these daring innovators and leaders share a passion for human connection and a sense of adventure.


If you are at least 21 years of age and willing to accept cookies, please click enter.
Book a Tour Call Us