' Malk Family Vineyards - Winemaking


Cabernet Sauvignon

Our primary goal is to make our wine representative of the character of the Stags Leap District Appellation. Our grapes are hand harvested in the vineyard at dawn. As they are spread out on the sorting table they are still cold from the nighttime temperatures and only the finest clusters are de-stemmed and make their way to the fermentation tank. The grapes will rest for several days in the vats to benefit from a “cold soak”, extracting beautiful fruit character from its own pure juice and skins.

As fermentation begins, the grapes will slowly pick up heat and the skins will begin to rise to the top of the fermentation vessel. In the early stages, we will gently pump the juice back over the skins to give the fermentation plenty of air and allow for excellent contact between the juice and skins. During peak fermentation activity, we may do the process several times each day and employ such practices as delestage, where we remove all of the juice from the tank to allow for complete extraction before returning the free run juice to the grape skins.

Following fermentation we will gently drain the free run juice from the tank and move the wine to French oak barrels. Here, the wine will undergo malolactic fermentation at cave temperatures as they age. The wine is generally racked or removed from the barrels every 3 months to allow the wine to temporarily breathe in tank before it is returned to barrel. After about 22 months in barrel the wine is ready to be bottled where it will then age for an additional year and a half before being offered.

Sauvignon Blanc

Our Sauvignon Blanc was crafted in the most traditional style of winemaking. Hand harvested and gently whole cluster pressed, the juice was collected and moved directly to barrel. We have used neutral barrels, meaning no sensory influence from the oak, but the barrel provides us with the perfect vessel to allow each small lot to ferment with indigenous yeast and benefit from direct lees contact and battonage. We also find the barrel to be perfect for proper aging of the Sauvignon Blanc, which is bottled after seven months.    

Pinot Noir

After a long search for premium fruit, our winemaker, Robbie Meyer, successfully secured grapes for our Pinot Noir from the King’s Ridge Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast.

The Fort Ross-Seaview area — what some people might call the “True Sonoma Coast” is planted in a perfect location for Pinot Noir, on the hillsides overlooking the ocean with cool maritime breezes and warm sunny days.

This neighborhood boasts some of the best names in pinot such as the surrounding vineyards which include Peter Michael, Marcassin, Flowers, Hirsch, Del Dotto, and Pahlmeyer.