The Winery in the Cave
The Winery in the Cave

Outside of the cave
Caves have always been an
ideal place for winemaking
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With over 35 years of winemaking experience, first as a home winemaker and later after studying grape growing and winemaking at the University of California at Davis, I still maintain a high passion for hands-on winemaking seldom seen in the industry.

The winemaking goal at Eagles Trace is to make wines with the elegance and finesse of a great Bordeaux vintage along with the rich fruit flavor that comes with the best of Napa Valley grapes.

Picking the GrapesGrapes are picked early in the morning and brought into the cave at a temperature below 50 degrees. After sorting and crushing into small fermenters, the must is still not more than 50 degrees. The yeasts I use for fermentation do not become active until the must warms up to the ambient temperature of the cave which is 60 degrees. This process takes four to five days and gives the must a natural cold soak while beginning the flavor development.

BarrelsAfter completion of fermentation the wine is tasted every day to monitor the tannin development. Once the proper flavors have developed, the free run wine is drained off to new French oak barrels and the remainder is gently pressed and kept separate from the free run wine. Final blending is done early on to give a maximum amount of time for flavors to marry.