It All Begins in the Vineyard!
As we continually assess the status and requirements of each grapevine throughout the season and tailor our activities accordingly, we do so with the goal of producing healthy fruit with smaller berries and concentrated clusters for our winery knowing that this will result in reduced intervention by our winemaking team.
Our wine grapes are hand-sorted up to three separate times on the morning of harvest; once in the field while picking, once on an inclined sorting table feeding the de-stemmer, and once again, if necessary, as de-stemmed individual berries passing over a grated, vibrating sorting table that sifts out any green berries, raisins, or other undesirable material. The fruit is then allowed to cold soak for up to seven days while the native yeast fermentation slowly begins. The fermenting must is then punched down three or four times daily during peak fermentation, which lasts about 10 to 14 days. The fermented wine is then drained directly to barrel via gravity (i.e. no pumping), then pressed. Following Malolactic fermentation, the wines will age on lees until the following spring, when they are racked off lees and blended.
The winemaking philosophy embraced by DANCIN is in many ways a return to the traditional methods that were largely forgotten during the modernization of winemaking in the second half of the 20th century. These include techniques such as native yeast fermentation, fermentations which are punched down by hand up to three times daily, minimal sulfites used during processing, and moving the wine by gravity whenever possible to create a truly authentic wine. This is especially important with delicate and sensitive Pinot noir and Chardonnay, where every racking (especially with a pump), addition, or change in essence subtracts from the wine. It has become apparent that these techniques, which were once considered inefficient and old-school, have in fact proven to be the true path to hand-made, artisanal wine.
Our estate winery consists of two separate spaces built into the hillside which facilitates the art of gravity fed winemaking. This furthers our goal of not detracting from the desirable, hard-earned nuance and finesse that was so carefully coaxed out of the fruit during fermentation. Wine flowing from our upper hillside barrel room down to the winery never passes through a pump, which would compress and push the wine to its destination, volatilizing the aromatics of the wine and diminishing the subtle but important elements that make Pinot noir and Chardonnay so unique. Instead, the wine moves naturally by gravity, with no pressure change, no mechanical assistance, and no subtraction from the wine.