Élevage at Thomas Fogarty Winery
The raising of the wines at Thomas Fogarty Winery is informed by our setting, High on the Skyline ridge at the northern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the naturally diverse terrain here begs to be studied in depth. To that end we use our winemaking as a lens to examine the multitudes of terroirs we farm. We strive to use human intervention only in ways that help to preserve the voice of our vineyards.
The “ingredients” list on most all of our wines reads: grapes and as little sulfur dioxide as possible. Keeping this list to a minimum ensures maximum expression of site.
We encourage naturally occurring yeast and bacteria to perform primary and secondary fermentations. This ancient technique is another step in ensuring maximum site expression.
We also allow our wines a longer élevage: particularly for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We have noticed that wines born from alpine sites require more time to develop. By refreshing our cooperage with only 15-20% new French-oak yearly, we minimize the oak character in the resulting wines. We have found most wine tastes less “oaky” with this extra time.