We believe that each wine should show the essence of each varietal in its purest form. Our wine making processes are minimalistic—no yeast added, no artificial tannins, no malolactic bacteria added, no artificial coloring, etc. We only use sustainable (biodynamic and organic) farming and natural winemaking methods. Every sip evokes cool ocean breezes and sunny afternoons looking at the beauty of the rolling Sta. Rita Hills!
At Ampelos Cellars we use both Old World and New World winemaking styles, always with an eye toward eco-friendly and natural processes. Giving respect to longstanding winemaking traditions coupled with some flexibility, we see constant improvements to the cellar—resulting in complex and intriguing wines!
Viognier and Rosé of Syrah Winemaking
We aim for crisp fruit flavors in our Ampelos Rosé and white wines. This happens through:
- Fermenting in stainless steel tanks
- Utilizing native yeast fermentations
- Cold fermentation (maintaining the temperature at 55 degrees) to retain the volatile fruit esters
- Preventing secondary fermentation to avoid “buttery” flavors
- No oak barrels used
Pinot Noirs, Syrahs & Grenache Winemaking
Our approach is influenced by well over twelve years of winemaking experience. Our processes include:
- Harvesting grapes when evaluation by our eyes, hands, noses, and tongue tell us they are ready
- Grape storage in nearly freezing temperatures in our cold room to avoid environmentally damaging dry ice
- Gentle de-stemming and no crushing
- Fermentation in small, 1.25 ton fermenting bins
- Gentle juice extraction with hand punch-downs twice a day
- Using wild (indigenous) yeast fermentation and wild ML fermentation
- Extended maceration for Pinot Noir, where the skins remain on the wine during fermentation for addition tannin and flavor extraction
- Keeping all the lots separate during fermentation as well as barrel aging in order to find the best blends
- As little racking between barrels as possible
- Using oak as a balanced part of the flavor profile rather than a scene-stealer
- Bottle aging—releasing the wine once it is perfectly aged for drinking so it is ready to share as soon as you bring it home
Wines should be a perfect handshake—what the nose promises the palate delivers.