This is the first in a series of conversations between President Mike Tierney and winemaker Evelyn White on wine related topics and enjoying the fruits of our labors.

Since we have just released our 2009 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir, the making of rose seems an appropriate place to start.

Mike Tierney: There are a couple of methods of making rose′; “saignee” being the process of bleeding off juice from grapes that have been left soaking in tanks for several hours.

Evelyn White: Right. That’s been the rage recently in certain wine circles. The juice is bled off, and the remaining wine becomes more concentrated as the result of more skin contact. That wine is then used in the preparation of the red wine blend.

MT: But we don’t do that.

EW: No. We treat the grapes solely for rose′ wine production. We let the grapes sit in bins for 12 hours, and then put whole clusters through a gentle press cycle. The wine undergoes a slow cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks in order to preserve the freshness of the fruit. No oak is used.

MT: Other differences?

EW: Yes. We choose a vineyard (or block) with only rose′ in mind. The grapes are picked a bit earlier than our regular Pinot Noir, so they have higher acidity and lower alcohol. The result is a fresh and crisp wine.

MT: You hit this one out of the park. Great color, fruit and balance.

EW: Thanks. Looking forward to enjoying this wine during Spring Training.

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