Chardonnay batonnage demonstration barrel: winemaking in action

by on November 22, 2011 in From the Cellar

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Have you ever wanted to see what happens inside a wine barrel? You’re not alone. Last summer, our Guest Services staff asked us if it would be possible to create a special see-through barrel, so trade tour and tasting guests could get an inside look at the old-world winemaking art of batonnage. I worked with one of our local cooperages to create Jordan’s first demonstration [...]

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Video: demonstrating the old-world art of making a wine barrel

by on April 15, 2011 in From the Cellar

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Every winter, new French and American oak barrels are crafted and delivered to the winery for aging our youngest vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. I always take the opportunity to visit Nadalié cooperage in Calistoga, one of our barrel makers, to monitor the making of our American oak barrels in action. (Nadalié also makes our French oak barrels in France.) We [...]

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Tallowing: preserving an old-world winemaking technique

by on January 19, 2011 in From the Cellar

tallowing

Our cellar team still practices an old-world winemaking technique that has nearly been lost in modern America’s wine culture: tallowing.  Each winter, the barrel blend of our latest vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon is placed in 6,000-gallon oak casks so the flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can marry, and these vintage doors need to be properly sealed to hold the wine. The [...]

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Saying goodbye to used barrels … but not for long

by on March 12, 2010 in From the Cellar

Our recent post about the new barrel inspection process discussed the pristine barrels French and American cooperages deliver to our cellar door every winter. But only one-third of our Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in new oak barrels each vintage, so used barrels play a critical role in our winemaking philosophy. Barrels raise our wine for three [...]

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New barrel inspections: testing every barrel and conserving water

by on February 19, 2010 in From the Cellar

Every winter, new oak barrels from top cooperages in France and America arrive at the Jordan cellar. Approximately one-third of the barrels we use to age our wines each year are new, and we work with a variety of coopers, so inspecting these barrels to meet our standards is an intricate process. I inspect every [...]

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Tallowing the doors of our oak casks

by on January 10, 2010 in From the Cellar

Each December before barrel aging begins, we create the barrel blend for our latest vintage of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. We only blend two Bordeaux varieties with our Cabernet Sauvignon—Merlot and Petit Verdot—the latter of which has been increasing its presence in our final blend, thanks to its amazing blueberry fruit, vibrant color, and soft, [...]

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