PINOT PRODUCTION VARIABLES
More decisions to be made
The most important decision and certainly the biggest quality factor in any wine production, and maybe particularly in Pinot Noir, is the choice of vineyards. The following is a list of production variables, by no means totally complete, to be considered once the vineyard selections are determined. Pinot Noir is certainly the most reactive of all grape varieties to any treatment, so each decision may have a profound effect on the final product.
Dutton-Goldfield typically has over twenty different subvineyard lots of Pinot in barrel, which will be considered for blending in the early spring. Each of these production parameters, up until blending, must be considered separately for each lot. The demands of fruit from different vineyards are tremendously variable. The ultimate goal is to optimize the quality of each individual vineyard lot, and thus provide the greatest potential for our Pinot Noir products.
Harvest/Pre fermentation Parameters: Sugar/acid/flavor/phenolic targets at harvest; Picking times and delivery methods; Crusher/destemmer/must pump types; Acid addition before fermentation? If so what parameters.
Fermentation: Fermenter type (open top or closed fermenter) and shape; Fermenter size; Whole berry or whole cluster inclusion? If so how much; Punchdown/pumpover regime, techniques, and times/day as fermentation progresses; Cold soak?; Yeast strain, if any/ timing of inoculation; Temperature regime; Time on skins/parameters of pressing; Press cuts?; Timing/strains of ML; Other prebarrel treatments (e.g. settling time, aeration, additions etc.)
Aging/Blending/Bottling: Timing/parameters of barreling; Type/age/brands/toasts of oak; Mid-life racking(s) - if so what parameters as to timing; Topping/SO2 management; Timing of pump out/preblending; Oxygen management (attitude toward O2 pickup at different stages - what levels of pickup occur by different processes); Other clarification - fining/filtration if any (we generally prefer none if possible); Blending - specifics of blend as well as timing; SO2, O2 at bottling