The inaugural release of Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was the 2001 vintage. It’s a fleshy, well-integrated and subtle wine. At the time, our founding winemaker, Tom Rinaldi had a very specific vision for this wine, “We already have plenty of in-your-face wines. I want a more polite wine, one that is neither aggressive nor abrasive. You get tired of all the undisciplined, over-the-top Cabernets. Ours is a complex, intellectual wine, one that requires a little effort to uncover and fully appreciate.” For over 13 years now, the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard has continued to craft a wine with this vision.
Although the wine is usually 100-percent Cabernet Sauvignon, blending is still an important part of the picture. With over 58 acres of fruit, the Hewitt Vineyard provides our winemaking team with a great range of flavor and quality. Only the best fruit to go into this limited bottling of the Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and there are various blending sessions that take place along the winemaking process to ensure the team is crafting the finest expression Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 1992, in response to the threat of phylloxera, Bill Hewitt began upgrading the vineyard by replanting to Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 8 on five different rootstocks (5C, 5BB, 1103-P, 110R, and 039-16) as part of an experiment to identify which performed best on this site. With a variety of clones, rootstocks and soil conditions, our winemaking team can bring different elements to the wine, giving it great depth and intriguing personality.
At the winery, the grapes are hand sorted the grapes on tables twice: first as clusters to remove any leaves or inferior fruit and then, after destemming, as individual grapes. This gentle process retained about 70 percent whole berries. In addition, grapes go through two to five days of cold soaking before fermentation, followed by extended skin contact, developed the rich varietal character. Bâtonnage (stirring) during malolactic fermentation in the barrel rounds out the acidity and softened the tannins. Four rackings during barrel aging naturally clarify our wine, and after blending, we bottled this perfectly balanced wine without fining.