Style & Character
If we had to pick one word to characterize our Stony Hill wines it would be balance. We aim to achieve a balance between the intensely flavored fruit from our hillside vineyards and the notable acidity that gives the wine structure and the aging potential for which it's been known for more than five decades. Our goal is simply to translate the intense fruitiness of our grapes into elegant, food friendly wines. To that end we crush and press the grapes with minimum skin contact and ferment in neutral oak cooperage. When fermentation is complete, we rack the wine off the lees, or dead yeast cells, in order to avoid the development of a yeasty flavor in the wine. We then age it in the neutral oak barrels, most of which are over ten years old, allowing the wine to develop and mature without absorbing an oak flavor component that could mask the natural fruit flavors. In addition, we avoid a secondary or malolactic fermentation in order to maintain the original acid structure of the wine and protect the citrus and apple flavor components inherent in the Wente clone Chardonnay grapes we grow.
Over the years we have remained true to this original style, which we think is the most appropriate for our particular hillside grown grapes.