Liberty School Chardonnay is sourced from key vineyard sites along California's Central Coast. Our Paicines vineyards attribute body and richness to the blend,k while vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands attribute elegance, aciidty and a tropical character. Santa Barbara County and San Benito County vineyards add a roundness to the wine, making for a well-balanced Chardonnay with excellent varietal expression. The anticipated El Niño provided around eight inches of rain in Paso Robles, which was less than hoped for, but much needed after four prior drought years. The rainfall had a positive effect on fruit quality and yields, specifically for the Rhône and Bordeaux varietals. In 2016, most varieties of grapes came in above average in terms of yield and quality, which was a welcomed surprise. The overall 2016 vintage delivered high quality fruit with above expectations on colour and fruit intensity.
After harvesting fruit for the Liberty School Chardonnay was whole-cluster pressed and chilled for 1 -2 days prior to fermentation. The Chardonnay was racked to barrel for fermentation and aged sur lie for ten months in neutral American oak barrels. The wine was stirred three time to enhance its creamy character. Primary blending took place after eleven months and the wine then rested in tank for one month prior to bottling.