Vineyard {511} Spring 2019 Newsletter
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Vineyard {511} Our Story Vineyard {511} Current Release Vineyard {511} Wine Club
Vineyard {511} Our Story
Greetings from Diamond Mountain!

Spring is here! Bud break has occurred at Vineyard {511} and, with it, the promise of warmer weather to come and a new harvest.

Ed and Irene Ojdana
Vineyard {511}
Vineyard {511} - New & Exciting
Why We Age Our Cabernet Sauvignon for 30 Months

You may have noticed that a great many Napa Valley Cabernets are being barrel aged for 18 months, and in some cases even less. Some 2017 cabs are already available in the market. So why do we barrel age our Diamond Mountain District Cabernet wines for 30 months in 100% new French oak?
Vineyard {511} Barrels
When we first met our winemaker Rob Lloyd at our vineyard, we developed some goals for our wine. We knew what we did not want our wine to be: a high alcohol, sweet fruit bomb typical of many of today’s red wines. We wanted a Cabernet that could be drunk upon release or laid down for 10 or 15 years. Because our vineyard is a mountain vineyard with volcanic ash soil, the grapes are smaller than those found on the valley floor. Ours produce more tannins during fermentation. Tannins are a natural product of grape skins, stems, and seeds. Mountain grapes, because of their smaller size, have a higher ratio of skin to juice and thus higher tannins from the get go.

You may have also heard that aging wine in oak barrels also contributes to the tannins found in wines. All of the French oak barrels used to age our Diamond Mountain District Cabernet are toasted. Toasting both mellows the tannins in the wood, as well as changes the flavors the barrel imparts to the wine. There are varying degrees of toasting—from a light toast to a heavy toast. Our French oak barrels are medium toasted. We also use barrels from 3 to 4 different cooperages. As Rob says, the barrels are the spice rack that gives our wine its unique flavor characteristics.

Ed riding a camelAging our Cabernet wine for 30 months allows the structure and flavor of the wine to develop. As the wine ages in barrel, it goes through “peaks and valleys” almost like a camel with two humps. If Cabernet is aged for too short a period, it can lose its brightness and is astringent. We like our Cabernet to be aged to the second hump or peak, where the fruit brightness returns and the wine develops more softness or roundness felt in the mouth than if only aged to the first hump.

Finally, we bottle age our Cabernet for another 12 to 18 months before releasing it. This allows the oak flavor from the barrels to mellow out. The net result is a well-balanced, full-bodied wine, that will continue to age well, but which is highly drinkable when released.
Vineyard {511} Vineyard Update
Compared to last year, 2019 bud break occurred about a week and a half later due to winter rains. Over the winter season, significant rain storms soaked Napa Valley soils. Ample water, along with the springtime temperatures, created a spectacular mustard and cover crop bloom throughout Napa Valley.

Following bud break, our Cabernet Sauvignon vines began the flowering of small petal clusters that were then pollinated and fertilized. Almost immediately, a seed was formed and then a grape berry (a process known as "fruit set"), to protect the seed, growing from tiny green spheres to something more recognizable as clusters.
Vineyard {511} Update - Spring 2019
Fun Things
Napa Valley Vintners 2018 Vintage Celebration

In December, Vineyard {511} proprietors Irene and Ed attended a Napa Valley Vintners Association Celebration of the 2018 Vintage. Held at the To Kalon Cellar at Robert Mondavi Winery, the event was held in lieu of a holiday party to celebrate Napa Valley's excellence in winemaking.

Read more about the event here >>
Napa Valley Vintners 2018 Vintage Celebration
Catch up on more Vineyard {511} activities on our blog >>
Vineyard {511} Events
Vineyard {511} Pouring Events
We will be pouring at the following events:

Manhattan Wine Auction 2019
Sat, Jun 8, 2019
Manhattan Country Club | Manhattan Beach, CA
Wine country events:

Auction Napa Valley 2019
Wed, May 29, to Mon, Jun 3, 2019
Vineyard {511} will participate in the eAuction, which opens at noon, on Wed, May 29, 2019.

See the most up-to-date list of events here >>
Another Fun Thing
Vineyard {511} Wine Club
Learn more about Vineyard {511} Wine Club
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Vineyard {511} | 511 Kortum Canyon Road | Calistoga, CA 94515 | 707-942-2156