Growing Conditions

2014 was an exceptional growing season. The start to the growing season was slow, due to cooler than normal conditions in April and May. Cooler weather proved to be the theme for the summer of 2014. However, what 2014 lacked in heat was made up for with sheer sunshine. A remarkable summer that will be remembered for cool breezes both day and night, blue skies, lots of sun, and very little rain. This sort of weather is ideal for a successful flowering period which determines the size of the crop. Indeed, 2014 yielded the most prolific harvest we can remember.


The vineyard yielded about 2.25 tons per acre. The grapes were sent through the crusher-destemmer with the rollers set wide apart to retain a larger number of whole berries. Next, the grapes were sorted to remove MOG (matter other than grape) and any unripe or undesirable fruit. The must was inoculated immediately with both yeast and malolactic bacteria. This practice, called co-inoculation, marks an innovation in the red wine program at Paumanok. It resulted in the completion of malolactic fermentation prior to the completion of alcoholic fermentation. This has the major advantage of allowing the winemaker to rapidly protect the wine with sulfites (as opposed to waiting weeks or months after alcoholic fermentation for malolactic fermentation to complete). Delestage (complete drainage of free run and then irrigating over the cap, also called "rack and return") was done to achieve thorough, gentle extraction while minimizing the extraction of harsher tannins by the elimination of seeds as the cap settles during delestage. This method ensures that only the softest tannins are extracted. After the fermentation was complete, the free run was drained into oak barrels. The must was pressed and, after clarification, was also moved to oak barrels. After 17 months in French oak barrels the Petit Verdot Apollo Drive Vineyard was bottled. About 50% was bottled under screw cap, the remainder under cork.