We are a small, family estate with an unwavering commitment to crafting profound and concentrated wines that express attributes of the vineyard and distinct management practices to enhance wine quality.
To better understand the terroir (farm ecosystem), we are planting our 34 acre estate slowly. Currently, twelve pinot noir clones (cultivars) are planted, including eight French Dijon clones. Other varieties include chardonnay, including five French Dijon clones, muscat ottonel, early muscat, the Italian variety, dolcetto, and Spanish variety, tempranillo.
The vineyard is maintained in a natural setting by providing habitat for wildlife on nearly a third of the estate and using farming practices that enhance biological diversity and water quality. In the vineyard, we use soft chemicals, such as mineral oil and bio-agents against foliage and fruit diseases, and maintain cover crops to prevent erosion and enhance soil health.
At Stag Hollow Vineyards, we manage grape yields through crop thinning, with target production at 2.0-2.5 tons per acre for pinot noir, though output is often lower. Besides checking grape maturity with instruments, we begin pinot noir harvest when grape flavors attain certain characteristics, including grape skin spice and fruit sugar and acid balance. The harvested grapes are given a 2 to 5 day pre-fermentation cold soak, and then fermented slowly in small lots at <82 degrees F, with whole berries added (up to 10 percent). Our pinot noirs are aged 10 – 12 months in French oak barrels from three forests, using about 25 to 30 percent new oak. After bottling, we age pinot noir for another year before release. The wines display depth and complexity, giving Stag Hollow’s pinot noirs a distinct and alluring flavor profile–attributable to the combination of our micro-climate and soil, vineyard practices to accommodate dense vine spacing, and our vinification techniques.
We produce up to four pinot noirs: Vendange Sélection (harvest select), Stag Hollow Reserve, 777/114 Reserve and Pinot Noir Yamhill- Carlton. The Vendange Sélection is a blend of Pommard and Colmar 538 pinot noirs from our oldest block planted in 1990. It displays an earthy dark cherry full-bodied style with lots of staying power and depth to age. The Stag Hollow Reserve, made primarily from pinot noir “clones” (sub-varieties) from the Dijon region of France, develops expansive and concentrated spicy black cherry and blueberry fruit. The 777/114 Reserve is a selection of two Dijon pinot noir clones, 777 and 114. Together these clones express elegant dark berry fruit with a silky finish. The Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton is a barrel selection of pinot noir, exhibiting ripe raspberry and cherry fruit with a spicy finish. Occasionally we produce a value pinot noir called Vinnae. The Vinnae displays classic Stag Hollow flavors in a lighter style and at a great price. While Stag Hollow produces its Reserve pinot noir and Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton every year, the Vendange Sélection and 777/114 Reserve pinot noirs are produced only when the clones that make up these wines show extraordinary concentration and depth.
Stag Hollow produces Dolcetto, a sturdy northern Italian variety that provides dark medium-bodied red wines with a long spicy black pepper finish. Stag Hollow releases an everyday red table wine, called Field Blend, a proprietary blend of the vineyard’s grapes. We are looking forward to producing a Tempranillo wine in 2014.
Stag Hollow also sells small quantities of dry Muscat white wine made from muscat ottonel and early muscat. The two muscat varieties deliver a harmony of apricot, orange blossom, and sweet apple aromas and flavors.