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 whether is ideal for a successful flowering period which determines the size of the crop. Indeed, 2014 yielded the most prolific harvest we can 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 Sauvignon, more than others. Due to the leaf removal and the very warm vintage, very little if any noticeable pyrazines remain in this wine.

The nearly ideal weather conditions combined with these viticultural practices allowed for the grapes to achieve maximum ripeness.

The grapes used to make this wine came from a single block of Cabernet Sauvignon on Tuthills Lane, planted in 2008. The vineyard yielded about two 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). Delestage (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 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 Tuthills Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled.

50% of the bottles were sealed with a screw cap and the remainder were sealed with natural cork.