Yes, everyone brags about being green -- but this isn't just bragging - we ARE green! We are off-grid and loving the ability to do our small part in preserving the health of our planet.
Our winery is one of the few who is operating 100% on solar energy. We are ecstatic that we can do our part not only to preserve mother earth but to conserve energy. We try to practice this not only in our lifestyle, but in our winemaking/vineyard managment process as well. Our vineyards are pesticide free and soon to be biodynamic. We welcome you to come have a glass of wine and check us out!
We had our eye on this piece of property for years before we bit the bullet and bought it. A sprawling 55 acre parcel, Greg saw the vision through the trees to know that beyond that lies our old world Tuscany under the Dry Creek sun. We began developing the property in 2006. Our goal was not to clear the land but to preserve its untouched beauty. Additionally, it was important to us that the creatures who lived there still had a home. Greg, along with some help, bulldozed and cleared brush from an already existing dirt road. This daunting and arduous task began our journey in building Kachina. That summer, Mom, Viv, and I planted the Cabernet and Zinfandel vines. As you will see in the pictures, it was and still is a labor of love. We are “hands on” people so everything about our winery, the design, architecture, grounds, and of course the wines are done by us. Your experience at our winery will be a very personal one-on-one experience. Tasting is by appointment only and will be either in the barrel room or on the patio. Your visit is important to us so we will dedicate ourselves to pour our wines from the heart. This is our passion, our dream, our life and we look forward to sharing it with you.
We have recently added five new members to the Kachina family. These pure Spanish Meat Goats have been given the task of helping to control brush on the property. Yes, they even eat poison oak! Spanish goats are not common in California, and as far as we can tell we may be the only Spanish goat breeder in Sonoma County. These goats are known for their hardiness and ability to live off the land. Living so near to the winery, their new home has been recently designated 'El Ranchero de las Cabras Borrachas' (Ranch of the Drunken Goats).
Our fruit comes from our estate vineyards as well as our vineyard partners in Dry Creek Valley. We believe that utilizing different fruit sources allows us to make great wines. Our wines are big, bold, food-friendly, low alcohol wines. We believe that to achieve our style of wines, we combine fruit grown on the bench (or hillside) and fruit grown on the valley floor. This combination allows our wines to be complex, full-bodied and fruity.
As for our vineyards on the property, we have Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. These vines are distinctively unique and different in their own ways. The Cabernet Vineyard produces fruit that is ripe with balanced flavors of black cherry and currant. The wines are rich and dark in color with tannins that when combined with toasted oak provide a finish that lingers in your mouth. The Zinfandel Vineyard fruit produces wines that are dark with rich flavors of blackberry, cherry, and raspberry and incorporate hints of vanilla, toasted oak and black pepper.
Producing less than 1500 cases per year, we are able to have a very hands-on approach to our wine making and picking process. With the beginnings starting in the vineyard, we are able to pick the fruit when it is at perfect ripeness for our wines. We handpick by rows, not blocks. This gives us complete control over fruit quality.
During harvest our red fruit is taken from the vineyard directly to the winery. Here, it is crushed, de-stemmed and transferred into stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation. During fermentation we implement a pump-over process that allows the juice to have a longer and more thorough contact with the skins, providing a rich dark color with balanced tannins in our wines. This may sound like a lot of touching of the juice, but we believe that being able to do more manual operations -vs- automated is a benefit to producing small batches of quality wine, hence being able to produce premium wines.
After fermentation, the Must is hand transferred to the bladder press. Here, we are able control the press pressure of every batch to obtain the desired results. After Press we transfer the wine into small stainless steel tanks where it is then racked and transferred into new oak barrels.
Currently, we use a combination of both French and American medium and heavy toasted barrels in our aging process. Every vintage is aged on 100% new oak. The barrel selection process is done after harvest and is based on blending and matching the characteristics of both the fruit and selected oak.
For our white wine process, it is important to note that it is especially vital for Chardonnay to come in very cold from the vineyards. So early morning picking is the ideal time to harvest. There are a lot of ramifications you have to deal with if the grapes are hot that could negatively impact the flavor. We do whole cluster press, meaning we do not remove the stems before it goes into the Press. The Press fills with air and starts to “press” or squeeze the juice. We maintain a low press cycle to ensure minimal seed and skin are extracted. With each 1/2 ton addition, we add a small amount of sulfite to keep the juice stable and free from oxidation. The juice then gets pumped into our stainless steel tank where we have the ability to cold-stabilize if needed to ensure the juice remain cold. At this stage of the process, it is going through primary fermentation and nutrients are added to ensure successful fermentation. Primary fermentation can easily take 2-3 weeks. After primary, we then pump the juice to new French Oak barrels where it will go through secondary fermentation. We add malolactic culture to the barrels after the juice has a chance to settle. Our maintenance program for all our wines as it ages in the barrel is weekly topping-up of the barrel. We believe that this is a practice that is vitally important to the stability of the wine. For Chardonnay, we stir the lees, (solids and mannoproteins or dead yeast hulls) that fall to the bottom of the barrel. This is the “good stuff” that gives the wine flavor and complexity.
If you would like more information about our fine wines, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. (707) 332-7917.