As a winemaker, I strive to create powerful and complex wines with a smooth finish. My goal is to craft a product that appeals to consumers of all ages. To achieve this balance, I create wines with soft tannins and full structure. Throughout the process, I rely on my palate and make wine that is pleasing to me. My thought process is to create wine that I love - just in case no one buys it and Brice and I have to drink it all!
At harvest, the grapes are hand sorted to eliminate foliage and unripe clusters. The grapes are 100% de-stemmed and crushed into stainless steel tank. These tanks are triple jacketed, which gives us complete control of the temperature throughout the fermentation process. We utilize pre-fermentation cold-soaking to extract as much color as possible from the skins. The tanks are then warmed for fermentation and post-maceration to obtain elegant and stable tannins.
For white varietals, we cold-soak and leave the grapes on the skins for 36 hours before pressing and immediately putting to barrels. Primary and malolactic fermentation take place in lightly toasted, new French oak barrels. The wine is stirred on the lees once a week for at least 11 months. This process allows for expression of the fruit, while also providing rich complexity, creamy mouthfeel, and toasted vanilla characteristics to the wine.
Red varietals are pumped over up to 5 times a day during fermentation, and will remain on the skins for up to 40 days (our personal record) before being pressed and put to barrel. These wines will age in French oak for 12-36 months, depending on the wine and taste.
Blending is utilized in basically all of our wines (except Viognier). Blending increases the complexity and interest of each wine as a whole. At Serrano, we believe in minimal manipulation of the wines, and blending creates different flavor profiles and characteristics.
AGING AND MATURATION IN OAK BARRELS
Aging in oak consistently ensures the subtle exposure to oxygen. Only barrel aging can enhance the fruit and terroir while adding delicate toasted vanilla notes and round tannins. We believe oak reveals the authenticity of a wine, without ever being dominant. Each day, the wine becomes more refined, expressive, and full bodied in the barrel. It also provides a flavor profile that I personally love: vanilla, smoke, toast, and spice, amongst others. We only utilize French oak, though both light and medium toast are used, depending on varietal. We age in different size vats, ranging from 59 gallon barrels to 600 gallon foudres, with hogsheads, demi-muids, and puncheons in between. Our white wines age for 11-12 months and the red wines age anywhere between 18-36 months.