Winemaking at Unti
I guess you could describe our winemaking here at Unti as “modern traditional.” Most importantly, winemaker Jason Valenti works closely with our vineyard crew to make sure we execute our strategy which is farming for quality by coordinating pruning, crop thinning, canopy management, watering, and subsequently harvesting.
-We use contemporary processing equipment (vibrating sorting table, peristaltic pump that is gentle, stainless steel and concrete fermenting vessels, hydraulic basket press)
-Temperature control for tanks and cellar storage
-Maintain diligent hygiene standards that mitigate microbial activity in the cellar
-Allow indigenous yeasts to carry out fermentations
-Use a variety of small fermentation vessels including stainless steel and concrete tanks and eggs
-Use a variety of aging vessels depending on the wine type, including 60-gallon French oak barrels, 620 gallon foudres, concrete tanks and eggs
-Use a minimal amount of sulfur dioxide to preserve freshness and avoid microbial spoilage in wines
-We do not engage in “corrective” winemaking techniques, such as acidifying wine or dealcoholizing wine
Vary winemaking techniques to specific grape variety and vineyard blocks.
Whites: De-stem and send directly to a membrane press. Ferment and age in small concrete or stainless steel tanks. We do not allow wine to go through malo-lactic fermentation in order to preserve natural acidity. Bottle after 6 to 9 months.
Rosé: Harvest specific sections of our Grenache Noir and Mourvedre at low sugars to retain freshness from acidity. The grapes are de-stemmed and sent to a membrane press. Grapes macerate on skins for 3-hours before the press cycle. Our Rosé is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.
Reds: Harvest at cool temperatures. De-stem and pump into a tank. Keep temperature at below 60 degrees for five days. We employ whole cluster fermentation with Syrah and Grenache from certain vineyard blocks on property, but never 100% whole clusters. We also carefully decide when we include whole clusters based on the vintage. The wines are then sent to a pneumatic basket press. We match type and age of oak to each varietal and vineyard block as best we can. Only use French oak barrels.
Harvest and ferment separate blocks.
We make 35 to 50 different lots of wine based on different clones or specific blocks on our 60 acres. This has been a instrumental in our ability to learn as much as we can about our grapes, which in turn has improved our wine quality over the past 18 years. Our Sangiovese Riserva, Benchland Syrah, Barbera, and Cuveé Foudre are all results of specific vineyard blocks with personality.