A bottle of wine should present a story to its consumer: a story of that year in the vineyard. Since every year is unique, that bottle should present the distinct vintage in the glass, as no two vintages are alike. The artisanship and quality of wine is hindered by excessive manipulation, attempts to over-correct vineyard decisions and Mother Nature, as well as manual intervention to maximize every aspect of the wine.
The process of wine making occurs naturally, and as a wine maker, Two Shepherds role is to guide it along, protect it from harm, and otherwise not intervene. All of our wines are aged in used, neutral barrels (yes – even the reds) that impart no oak characteristics, but subtly enhance the wines’ texture, mouth feel, and flavor concentration.
Our wines are fermented with native yeast that live on the grapes when picked, native malo-lactic fermentations, aged on the lees, minimally racked and are 13- 14% alcohol, with high, food friendly acidity. These are old world, elegant wines focused on bright acidity, texture, and mouth feel.
This wine making process of utilizing little to no new oak follows the way French Rhone wine makers have made wine for centuries, and how wine was made in California before the days of New World over-the-top styles and “Parkerization,” where the manipulation of wines’ color, flavor, tannin and alcohol levels was common so higher scores could be achieved.
California is labelled as a state that produces over ripe, high alcohol wines, a combination of a lot of sun and excess vineyard hang time. But there are regions in California with cool climates, where grapes can even struggle to ripen, and face more challenging conditions.
We source our grapes, farmed to our specifications, under contract, from the cooler climate Russian River and Santa Ynez Valleys. These region’s mild, warm days and cooler nights provide a more gentle ripening method, which allows the grapes to develop their proper flavor profile, with lower alcohol levels and higher acidity, producing well-balanced wines.