Monterey County, with its combination of warm days followed by cool winds in the late afternoon, possesses excellent climatic conditions for this classic varietal. In fact, we grow it on six out of ten of our estate vineyards. For Winemaker Dave Nagengast, it’s an embarrassment of riches really. Sauvignon Blanc is a vigorous variety in the vineyard and it is important to tailor farming practices to obtain full flavor ripeness. At Scheid, we utilize trellis systems that shelter the grapes, allowing filtered sunshine through the canopy to gently and evenly ripen the clusters. Vine growth and excessive foliage are managed through limiting irrigation to keep vigor in check. The majority of the grapes for the 2017 vintage came from our estate Greenfield-area vineyards, where the brisk conditions bring out the grassy and herbal traits of Sauv Blanc, with a hint of mineral edginess. 2017 was a more typical, temperate growing season than recent years, resulting in healthy vines. Winter rains led to mild spring weather that brought good bloom. Warm temperatures in late July helped the grapes reach full ripeness. Record-breaking heat in early September caused Brix levels to jump, speeding up the harvest, but the weather soon cooled and harvest slowed to a more normal rate. Yields were light to average, with fruit showing high quality.
The handpicked grapes were whole cluster pressed and slowly fermented at cold temperatures entirely in stainless steel to preserve the bright fruit flavors and varietal character. Stainless steel tanks provide a neutral environment that serve to accentuate the wine’s crisp, zesty qualities and retain its distinctive freshness. The finished wine was aged in stainless steel and stored cold to retain the wine’s aroma and fresh character.