Selecting the finest vineyards is just the first step to creating an amazing wine. There are several other critical decisions that must be made.
Clones - Pinot Noir has been planted in the US for over 100 years, but quality has improved over the last 20-30 years as new clones of Pinot have been planted. These newer plantings are often described as Dijon clones which are only known by their numbers like 115, 667, and 777. There are also clones with different parentage like Swan, Pommard, and Martini that have longer histories in North America. We do not have a hard preference, but prefer to pick the clones that produce the most impressive fruit in a particular vineyard.
Harvest Parameters - For David, when to pick is the most important of all the winemaking decisions. While David is often one of the first to harvest grapes from the vineyards he partners with, this can vary by site and season. David seeks both phenolic maturity and physiological ripeness. At the same time, because ageability is fundamental to David’s winemaking vision, natural acidity is also a key consideration. More than anything, the timing of harvest is based on experience and taste. David is constantly in the vineyards in the run-up to harvest, tasting the fruit, cracking the seeds between his teeth, making visual assessments of skin color and texture, and getting a sense of what the quality and flavors of the final wine will be.
During harvest, David rigorously sorts the fruit to eliminate any green berries or unripe clusters. This ensures that the final wine reflects the best the grapes can offer.