Jackass Vineyard was planted in the late 1800ís in the splendid Russian River Valley. This eight acre vineyard thrives on a steep rolling hillside which surrounds the west side of the Jackass Hill Vineyard. The old head pruned vines are farmed much the same way as they were a century ago; without the use of trellising, irrigation, or pesticides. The vines produce a large crop load for being 100 years old, about three tons per acre, and the fruit is thinned to insure more concentrated flavor in the berries.
The grapes tend to ripen unevenly, as typical of this mysterious varietal, and two or three separate harvests are usually the norm. The grapes are picked ripe, about 26 degrees brix, into small wooden boxes that Giuseppe Martinelli had made by hand a century ago. The ripeness at harvest allows the wine to wave its true Zinfandel character in flavor and color.
After picking, the whole berries undergo a long cool fermentation, with indigenous yeast, to generate skin contact and extract fruit character. The juice is transferred into small oak barrels with a touch of residual sugar remaining to complete the fermentation process in barrel until dry. It is then allowed to rest and mature in 33% new French oak on its gross lees for ten months before bottling. The grapes, juice, and then wine are minimally handled. The finished wine is unfined, unfiltered, neither cold nor heat stabilized and contain naturally occurring sediment. We recommend decanting or allowing the bottle to sit upright in a cool place prior to serving. Salute!