Great winemaking begins with great farming. This belief is what initially led us to the remote coastal ridges of the extreme Sonoma Coast, and it continues to drive everything we do. From farming using a blend of biodynamic and sustainable practices to fermenting our wine with 100% native yeast. We believe that the extreme conditions of vineyard sites should be embraced, not controlled and each wine should be a unique representation of place and time. It’s not the easy way to make wine, but we believe it’s the only way.
“Each vintage gives us a fresh opportunity to attentively farm our Sonoma Coast vineyards and take these grapes from vine to bottle. At Flowers, ‘minimal intervention’ doesn’t mean hands-off; it actually means more hands are involved in the preparation, requiring us to be present in each moment, through every step of the process.”
Using a blend of biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming practices, we harness the true potential of our extreme vineyard sites. The grapes benefit from the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean, which provides cool daytime breezes to ensure proper ripening and evening fog to guarantee lively acidity for freshness in the finished wines.
Our harvest begins every fall beneath the moonlight. Given the extremes of our vineyard sites, each small block ripens at its own pace. Grapes are monitored for their ideal brix level and each cluster is picked by hand throughout the night and into the early morning to ensure fruit quality and freshness in the wine.
Every winemaker has the opportunity intervene in the natural winemaking process to impact the color, flavor, aroma and texture of their wine – but at Flowers we do not. We want our wine to be a pure expression of our unique coastal terroir and the vintage. With every unnatural addition to a wine, the sense of place becomes further removed and a wine becomes more a representation of the winemaker than the vineyard. All of this is only possible because of our meticulous biodynamic and organic farming practices that produce grapes of immeasurable quality.
Yeast is the magic in the winemaking process, as it is the catalyst for fermentation. And although there is natural yeast all around us, most wineries will purchase yeast strains from the store and use them to control the fermentation process. At Flowers, we use 100% native yeast in all our wines, thus relying on the wild yeast that gets carried in on the grapes from the vineyard for fermentation. We believe our yeast strain gives our wine a unique identity and in 2015 we began sending out samples for DNA fingerprinting.
We have been shocked to learn that we had a common strain of yeast throughout all of our wines that is carried in through our vineyards – and this strain is 100% unique to Flowers, meaning there is no genetic relationship to any commercial yeast on the market. Although using native yeast is uncommon, we believe that it is necessary to showcase the purity of our fruit and power of our vineyards.
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