The Sierra Foothills received their designation as an AVA in 1987. Situated on 2,600,000 acres, The Sierra Foothills includes sub-appellations California Shenandoah Valley, El Dorado, Fair Play, Fiddletown, and North Yuba. The Sierra Foothills features a mostly volcanic soil structure, but also has regions of loam and alluvial fans. The climate in the region is Mediterranean due to the warm days and cooler evenings. The region is famous for first being settled during the California gold rush, with vines of Zinfandel being planted soon thereafter. Prohibition devastated the region's wine growing efforts, but many of the vines were just abandoned in place instead of destroyed. Many of these vines still survive today, giving the Sierra Foothills some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the country.
The grapes were hand-harvested at 26.5 Brix on September 10, 2014 from the Sierra Moon Vineyard, El Dorado County, Sierra Foothills AVA. The 2014 vintage was starting to show the effects of the drought conditions that were prevalent in the state and the fruit achieved full ripeness a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. To combat the draught, approximately 25% of the grapes were removed from the vines a month prior to harvest, allowing the vines to focus on fewer grapes. The vineyard experienced a hot early summer, then cooled in midsummer. The heat returned for the end of summer and remained well into the early fall. The outcome of the weather conditions was early brix accumulation while still possessing refreshing acidities. The deciding factor as to when to pick was based on the flavor of the fruit rather than the numerical value of the sugar and acidity.
The fruit arrived at the winery in ½ ton bins where destemming and hand-sorting occurred. Fermentation proceeded in a small tank for five days. The free-run was transferred directly into neutral barrels for settling. The young wine was racked from the neutral barrels into a combination of new and one-year old French and American oak barrels where it aged for an additional year. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in January 2016. Production was limited to 70 cases.
Total Acidity 0.74 g/ml
Residual Sugar 0.08 g/ml