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St Amant Winery

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Winemaking barrel photos

Our Winemaking Philosophy

Our winemaking goals are simple. We strive to make the best quality wines possible that truly represent the place and the people from which they came. We think all our wines should be a direct reflection of their vineyard and the season in which they were grown. We also believe that it’s impossible to separate the people from the place. There are a thousand little decisions that go into crafting each wine, and we aim to keep our winery small enough so that we can make all those decisions; and by doing so, year after year, we develop a consistent style that transcends all our wines. To that end, we have a few principles that guide our winemaking:

  1. Vineyards – we believe you can only make great wines from exceptional quality grapes. We spend countless hours and years in the vineyards. Becoming intimately familiar with our vineyards, and making subtle adjustments to address the season, and our long-term goals.
     
  2. Varieties – over the years we’ve planted varieties that are well suited to our warm climate and diverse soils. We don’t make wines from what is fashionable or popular, but what we think will make great wine from those sites.
     
  3. Style – we strive to make fruit-driven, food-friendly wines that reflect the vineyard. We believe the balance between fruit, acid, oak, tannin, and texture is essential to our wines.
     
  4. Small Lots – all our wines are made in small lots. We keep each vineyard block, pick, and fermentation separate so that we can evaluate and later blend to make the best wines.
     
  5. Crushing & Fermentation – all our grapes are hand-harvested, sorted in the vineyard, and in the winery. We gently destem to small tanks, cold soak, and gradually ferment at relatively cool temperatures. We use a combination of inoculated and native yeast.
     
  6. Hands-Off – sometimes knowing when to do nothing is the hardest decision. To that end, we believe in “minimal intervention” and only make adjustments when absolutely necessary.
     
  7. Ageing – all our red wines are aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels. Most of our wines receive only 20-30% new oak, and we strive to let the fruit and vineyard shine through. Most wines are only racked once prior to bottling.
     
  8. Seasonality – we are not making wines by a formula. We are making hand-crafted wines from single vineyards that will express the variation of each growing season. Although we strive to be consistent from year-to-year, we think vintage variation is part of what makes wine special.
     
  9. Experimentation – we are always trying to learn more, make better wines, and improve our craft. Each year we have several experimental lots, most will never see the bottle, but they help us progress.

We hope you enjoy our wines. We put our heart and soul into every bottle, and ultimately strive to make the best wines possible for our loyal customers.