Philosophy

Wine Making Philosophy: Old World, Minimalist, Authentic, Natural

 

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.

 

Core Philosophies:

  • Winemaking is an art, not a science, regardless of what UC Davis says. We embrace time tested, hand crafted techniques and laugh at things like optical grape sorting.
  • We only release wines when they ready to enjoy. Not sequentially or for cash flow.
  • We make the wines we want to drink.
  • Flawed wine is flawed, not “natural.” ALL wineries have wines go astray on occasion, we dump those, not release them.
  • All vineyards are hand picked, sustainably farmed.

 

Who We Are:

  • Founded 2010 as a hobby that ran amok with 175 cases. (~2400 cases in 2018 vintage)
  • Two person team with full time jobs, a farm, and high density vineyard.
  • Almost purely DTC until 2018.
  • We make wine in our own facility, not custom crush.
  • We lease vineyards under long term contract, row specific, with strict terms. Our growers are generally small, and symbiotic partners. Many are very unique, rare. We are striving to all organic farming. (not there yet.)
  • We produce about 15 small lots a year, ranging from 25-300 case lots. (until 2018 harvest.)

Vinificaton:

ALL wines are fermented with native yeast, and 100% complete Malic naturally. Judicious, minimal use of sulfur, no additions save S02. Typically unfiltered. NEVER any use of new oak.

 

Whites: Typically neutral barrel fermentation, some stainless depending on variables/style.  Crushed for skin 2-4 hours contact, pressed to barrel to ferment with solids, no settling, on heavy lees. Neutral barrel elevage 6-10 months. Racked 2x 30 days prior to bottling.  Bottling aging typically 2-3 years prior to release.

 

Reds: Fermented gently in small ½ and ¾ ton bins. (We don’t own any tanks.) Minimal hand punch downs. Whole cluster ranging from 20-100%. Pressed to neutral barrel for elevage for 6-10 months, on heavy lees, racked 1-2x before bottling.