Growing Conditions

After a late April budbreak, Mother Nature pumped the brakes with somewhat cool and rainy weather in May and June. July saw heat, humidity and some rain. The sun and heat continued in August and primed September for thorough ripening. By the end of August the humidity cleared and a spectacular period of sunny, dry weather and blue skies began and stretched through the entire month of September. Both August and September came in under 2 inches of rain for the month. September’s gorgeous dry, sunny weather and cool nights made 2019 into a vintage to remember.


An intensive regimen of leaf removal (to better expose the fruit to the sun and wind) and fruit-thinning, or "green-harvesting", was performed to lower yields and remove unripe fruit. Performing thorough leaf removal early in the growing season (during or immediately after fruit set) aids greatly in attaining the goal of growing healthy, ripe, clean fruit. The fruit is healthier thanks to the drier microclimate created within the canopy. Pathogens such as powdery mildew are susceptible to UV light which will kill their spores. In addition, thorough, early leaf removal accelerates the natural depletion of methoxypyrazines. Pyrazines are responsible for the bell pepper aromas that are naturally present in some varieties, such as Cabernet Franc, more than others. Due to the leaf removal and the very warm vintage, the final pyrazine content is significantly less than it would have been otherwise. The vineyard yielded about 3 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 yeast and within 24 hours with malolactic bacteria. This practice -- called co-inoculation -- 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 upon completion of alcoholic fermentation (as opposed to waiting weeks or months after alcoholic fermentation for malolactic fermentation to complete). Délestage (complete drainage of free run and returning the same volume of juice/wine by 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 délestage. 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 14 months in neutral French oak barrels the Cabernet Franc was bottled.

It was sealed with a screw cap to preserve freshness and cleanliness.

Food Pairing

Try Paumanok Cabernet Franc with roast chicken, duck, game birds, hamburgers, meatloaf, pizza, sausage, hearty fish dishes and goat or cheddar cheese. For vegetarian options try grilled vegetables such as cabbage, bell peppers, and eggplant (try it with baba ghannouj) or zucchini. In general, it pairs particularly well with herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme or saffron.