Today, Zena Crown Vineyard comprises 115 acres of vines and 48 vineyard blocks. From it we produce four Pinot Noir wines – one for each season, to capture the vineyard’s changing moods and expressions just as if it were a living, breathing thing.
We create our wines with an end goal, a purpose, in mind. So we may use some percentage of whole clusters in fermentation depending on the vintage, the clone, and the intended wine. The wines are fermented in open tanks, with daily punchdowns. Aging and malolactic fermentation occur in French oak. In the style of Burgundy’s grands crus, most of the barrels are new—75-90% in any given year and wine. New barrels breathe, permitting more oxygen ingress than wine-soaked neutral wood, and we can limit excess reduction without racking the wines. After a year and a half in oak, the wines only move once: into the bottle. We do not practice fining as a rule, and we close our bottles with a Diam cork, eliminating any chance of TCA contamination. With each vintage, we hope to preserve a clear moment in time, even a feeling, for the wine can project color and light; it is our camera obscura, faithfully recreating our hands, our vineyard, these hills, this valley.