Our experience spans four decades in winemaking. Both traditional and progressive wine production techniques are embraced, although we remain focused on our core belief: only fruit grown from select vineyards that has been handled gently and naturally produces wine worthy of bottling under the Venge family name.
Our Core Practices
Red Wine Production
All Hands On Deck: Hand sorting is a family tradition and a required harvest activity for everyone at Venge Vineyards.
Go With Gravity: Using a gentle, state of the art Mistral berry sorting system allows the removal of any additional, unwanted raisins, shot berries, pips, and leftover foliage from the hand-sorted fruit. This secondary sorting system assures only ripened, healthy fruit makes it into the tanks. A conveyor belt gently transfers the fruit directly into each tank via gravity in preparation for pre-fermentation cold soaking. This eliminates the use of pumps that may serrate the skins and break the seeds. This prevents imbalances in phenolic extractions and leaching of seed tannins into the free-run juice.
Chill: In the tank, we cold soak the must and free-run juice to gently extract additional flavor and color pigments from the skins.
Go Native: Utilizing a combination of cultured and wild yeasts for primary and secondary fermentation is standard doctrine. Fermentation is conducted in a combination of hand-crafted, Italian stainless steel tanks, concrete vats, and open top oak barriques. Once fermentation begins, gentle diaphragm pumps are used to move the free-run juice over the must cap to assure a thorough soaking for extraction of vital phenolics. Extended macerations are common, generally lasting 18 to 27 days.
Barrel Down: A combination of new and once-used French oak barrels are used for red wine aging. The exception is our Scout’s Honor, which is aged in a combination of new American oak and used French oak barrels. Our red wines typically age 16 to 27 months in oak, depending on the varietal and the vintage.
Bottle As Is: Natural is better. Therefore, our red wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined.
White Wine Production
Press The Flesh: We whole-cluster press our whites and transport the juice via diaphragm pumps to hand-crafted, Italian stainless steel tanks. We implement a 48-hour oxidative settling to allow heavy phenolics to fall out and rack the wine to prevent browning of the whites. A combination of cultured and native yeasts are allowed to inoculate fermentation.
Stir It Up: The fermented wine is moved to neutral French oak barrels and allowed to undergo partial malolactic fermentation. Allowing only partial secondary fermentation preserves the wines natural acids, adding necessary verve and backbone to our white wines. We sur lie age our whites for 6 to 9 months, stirring the barrels weekly for three months to fill out the mid-palate of the wine.