The term élevage (from élever, "to bring up") describes the care in guiding a wine through its evolution. We like this term because it reflects the ideal we believe is the ultimate responsibility of a winemaker. Wines are defined in the vineyard. It is our responsibility to bring each wine up to what the vineyard ultimately has determined it can be.
To respect a wine's attributes and potential, we believe that it should be made slowly, with as little intervention as possible, using gentle, non-mechanized techniques. These techniques include harvesting and sorting clusters by hand, fermenting red wines in small lots and white wines in individual barrels, punching down by hand, moving wine primarily with gravity, and minimizing or eliminating fining and filtering. We think these are important considerations for thoughtful, gentle winemaking.
Although our fundamentals remain largely consistent from vintage to vintage, each vintage provides an opportunity to look at familiar vineyards through the lens of what's happened in the vineyard that year, and in some cases to explore the potential of new vineyards. In every vintage, we walk our vineyards many times in order to understand its defining attributes for each wine. We believe that one of the most beautiful qualities in a wine is to taste its tiny place of origin at a specific moment in time.