La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from grapes sourced from the vineyards of Sonoma Coast which offer an unusually long, cool and steady growing season. Lingering fog and wind from the nearby Pacific Ocean moderate temperatures throughout the growing season and contribute to the slow ripening process. With an extended “hang” time on the vines, the results are small berries with firm acidity and highly concentrated aromas and flavors.
Founded over 30 years ago, La Crema began life at their Russian River Valley estate. Over the years, however, they have specialised in sourcing grapes from California’s cool coastal regions including Russian River Valley, Los Carneros, Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast and Monterey. To this one can now add their exciting new project in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Head Winemaker, Craig McAllister, employs a combination of traditional Burgundian wine making techniques and modern Californian style.
The Chardonnay grapes for La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay are hand-selected from cool estate and grower vineyard sites within the Sonoma Coast boundaries – all within 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Grapes for this wine were picked at the coolest times of the day, by both hand pickers and machines. Hand-picked whole clusters and machine-picked berries went immediately to press. The juice spent one night in tank to settle, before being racked into predominantly French oak barrels to ferment. The barrels are primarily French with some American for sweet spice and complexity (17% new). A small percentage was put into stainless steel tank fermenters in order to preserve the aromas of fresh fruit. After inoculation of malolactic culture, and stirring every three to four weeks, the wine was ready to be blended and bottled after 8 months of ageing.