Each year we look forward to nothing more than the annual vintage of San Diego county wine grapes. We monitor how well the grapes are maturing beginning in June, and determine which varietals we will bring into our cellar in mid-August. Historically we have used robust reds, but for 2020 we brought in our first white grapes, whole-cluster Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli.
Muscat Blanc, known for being a highly aromatic grape with big sugar levels, presents with big tropical fruit layers and floral symphony, that hold true into the finished wine. This harvest showcased large, dense clusters & explosive Tutti Frutti flavors. After selecting a blend of strong Golden Ale and moderately acidic Golden Base, we racked the beer onto the whole, unprocessed clusters and allowed maceration to occur over 30 days, before being transferred to neutral oak barrels for further aging.
Our Chardonnay was promptly chilled in our cooler before pressing to juice. This yield was split between two oak barrels of mixed-fermentation Saison before undergoing refermentation.
After 6 months of resting in barrels, we pulled together our favorite barrels of these two threads to create a finished project inspired by funky, sparkling natural wine. A brilliant yellow/golden beverage is matched with a strong effervescence and fluffy white foam. The aroma is filled with oak, citrus, pineapple, violets, and funk - what a fun beer. Crisp and juicy with an ever so slight acidic finish leaves the experience refreshing and pondering.
Try the rest of the series using Cluster Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc, Sangiovese, and select Cabernet Franc Grapes.