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2005 Newell Vineyards

About the Vineyards

The 30-acre Newell Vineyards are located in Lockwood, California - a region of southern Monterey County renowned for its ideal wine producing climate and terrain.

The soil on our property is a rich sandy loam infused with scattered shale rock for excellent vine support and drainage. Of course, even the best soil conditions are meaningless without the right climate, which is why we consider Newell Vineyards to be twice blessed. Here, the temperature can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, then drop dramatically to 45 degrees at night - conditions which produce intense varietal character in grapes that are naturally allowed to achieve peak ripeness and deep coloring. Our region's morning fog and 9-12 inch annual rainfall are also key factors in the excellent quality of our fruit.

Jay Newell's landscaping expertise and love for the land enabled him to work closely with top consultants from Napa Valley, determining the varieties best suited to the family's acreage. By incorporating such innovative farming techniques as shoot thinning, crop thinning (to 2 - 3 tons per acre), controlled irrigation and state-of-the-art trellising systems that allow optimum sunlight penetration, we have enhanced the excellence of every grape we grow.

Each vine is carefully managed and limited to only 25 clusters for maximum quality. The fruit is generally dropped twice a year, but sometimes more often depending on seasonal conditions. To ensure the optimum quality and stability of each grape, we harvest between midnight and 4am. Additionally, we are committed to farming practices that are as close to organic as possible, using chemicals only when absolutely necessary and planting a cover crop of existing native species from the estate property.

Our Varieties

• Chardonnay - grown on 1/2 acre at the property's highest elevation for the peak of quality, our Chardonnay grapes utilize a 4x6 vertical trellising system.

• Cabernet Sauvignon - three different Cabernet Sauvignon clones are grown on 22 acres, using 6x8 vertical trellises.

• Cabernet Franc - our Cabernet Franc grapes are grown on 3 1/2 acres using our 6x8 vertical trellising system.

• Petite Sirah - like our Cabernet Franc grapes, this delicate fruit is also grown on 3 1/2 acres using our proven 6x8 vertical trellising system.

From Vine To Wine: The Newell Vineyards Process

Great wine begins in the vineyard. To achieve true winemaking excellence, we extensively prune all of our vines during the winter months, ensuring aggressive early growth of the shoots.

Then comes one of the most important steps we practice at Newell Vineyards: shoot thinning. We thin at 6 inches and remove any new shoots that aren't the result of winter pruning. To increase the strength of our shoots, we remove the laterals so that all the energy is focused on the 16 shoots we allow per vine. The result? Healthier vines, riper fruit and intense coloring because of the increased sun exposure and air circulation.

During harvest, we slowly hand-pick to achieve a good first sorting of the fruit on the vine, picking only the ripest fruit. When it reaches the winery, we sort again. Then the grapes are destemmed, lightly crushed and gravity-fed to small fermentation tanks, where cold maceration takes place for a couple of days.

When fermentation begins, the skins are left on the fruit for 14 days, and pushed down into the wine 10-12 times per day. After initial fermentation, the wine is lightly pressed and placed in 100% new American oak barrels where malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine is then aged for 20 months with regular racking, then bottled.