We look for fruit that comes from exceptional vineyards so we can make outstanding wines. We love vineyards that are rocky and steep, as these types of vineyards produce fruit which leads to concentrated wines bursting with flavors. We do not pick the fruit based on numbers, i.e. pH, TA, or sugar levels, but rather by how they taste as they near optimal ripeness.

We ferment our wines in half-ton open top bins and each bin is hand punched down four to five times a day in order to obtain maximum exposure of skins to juice. We know this process is very time consuming, but our goal is to maximize the flavor of the fruit while handling it as gently as possible.

The yeasts we use for each wine are dependent on the fruit's flavors and what we feel we want to accentuate for that particular vineyard without overpowering the terroir aspect of the wines. Currently, we use five different types of red wine yeast. Four are isolated from vineyards found in both the Northern and Southern Rhone Valley, and the fifth is isolated from the Rockpile Vineyard.

The wine is then aged, 16 months, in specially selected Burgundy shaped barrels. We use over ten different cooperages throughout the barrel program for our wines (60% to 100% new oak each year), each adding a certain component to the wines. We use almost exclusively French oak in our barrel program from cooperages including Meyrieux, Desrieux, Remond, Rousseau, Ermitage, Seguin Moreau, Dargaud & Jaegle, Billion, Saury, Chalufour and Damy. Most of these come from the Nevers and Allier forests in France and range from medium to heavy toast.

We use all Burgundy shaped barrels (short and wide) as opposed to Bordeaux shaped barrels (long and narrow) because we feel the difference in the surface area of the Burgundy barrels produces wines that have more elegance, richness and extra length to the palate. In particular, they bring a floral component to the aromas of both the Syrah, Petite Syrah and Zinfandel wines. When each of the individual barrels of a specific wine is blended together, additional layers of flavors and aromatics are achieved. Our winemaking procedures are both time consuming and detail oriented, but we feel they help us obtain our goals of producing wines that have immense concentration and complexity.

Braren Pauli Wines / Redwood Valley Cellars / 7051 North State Street / Redwood Valley, CA 95470 / Ph. 707-485-0322 / Fax 707-485-6784

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