Tara Vineyard is located on the lower, easterly facing slope of the hill adjacent
to our winery. The vineyard was planted in 1998 with 4453 rootstock and later
field budded to Dijon clone 115. The soil in this area has a dark charcoal hue
without the river rock so prominent in our adjacent Syrah blocks. The vines
have slowly been brought to maturity and irrigation is minimized to ensure
concentration of flavors and eventual dry farming.
The 2010 growing season was cool, cool, cool except for a three day heat
spike in August. Late ripening varieties, such as Syrah, were at risk for sun-
burn since they had not undergone veraison due to the persistent cool weather.
Spring seemed to go on eternally in 2010, with rains extending into June,
something rarely seen in northern California. June and July actually set record
cold temperatures! September was similarly cool and harvest plans were fre-
quently cancelled and postponed.
After sorting, the grapes were gently destemmed into small, custom designed
open top fermenters and kept below 50°F for a five day cold soak. Tanks were
then individually warmed to allow fermentation to take place in a timely man-
ner followed by cooling, as needed, to maintain temperatures below 85°F.
Thrice daily pneumatic punch downs took place during the cold soak and fer-
mentation. Once dry, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press keep-
ing free run and press fractions separate. Malolactic fermentation took place in