2014 EnRoute Harvest Recap

by on October 16, 2014

The craziness of harvest is winding down as we finish processing our Pinot Noir. If you follow us on Facebook, you might have already seen that we brought in the last of our fruit earlier this month. Overall, 2014 was a remarkable year for EnRoute Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Not only was this our longest harvest ever – we anticipate finishing at eight weeks as opposed to our usual five – but we also brought in a little more fruit of both varietals than we typically do.

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Pinot Noir clusters from Graton Vineyard, Russian River Valley

This year, our Graton Vineyard really started coming into full production volumes with its maturing vines. We’re excited to see what this will add to our Pinot Noir blend; this vineyard typically yields notes of dark red fruits, earthy mineral notes with lots of spice and gorgeous perfume. So far, the 2014 EnRoute Pinot Noir, Les Pommiers, is exhibiting great color and tannins and dark plum, raspberry and pomegranate flavors are evident already.

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Chardonnay from the recently acquired Weeks Vineyard, Russian River Valley

2014 was a particularly amazing year for our Chardonnay. We acquired three new Chardonnay vineyards, all in and around the Sebastopol hills. The 2014 EnRoute Chardonnay, Les Brumeux, is showing very bright acidity and is coming together nicely with fantastic tropical fruit flavors and citrus notes.

We definitely cannot wait to see how the 2014 vintage will evolve over the coming months.

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Introducing Weeks Vineyard

by on September 5, 2014

Weeks Vineyard

The above photo is a shot from our recent acquisition, Weeks Vineyard. Situated west of the city of Sebastopol in the Russian River Valley, this hillside vineyard enjoys shade from the towering, adjacent forest at the base of its sloped terrain and is a mere ten minutes away from our EnRoute Graton Vineyard.

We chose this site for its proven ability to produce high quality Chardonnay. The cooler daytime temperatures, coupled with cool evenings, make this particular area ideal for this grape variety. The Goldridge sandy loam found on the property lends itself to producing vines of moderate size that facilitate the necessary concentration of flavors and flavor components.

So far, the fruit is holding up nicely and we anticipate starting harvest in about two weeks – 2014 will be the first harvest from this vineyard. Weeks is a remarkable property, and we believe the fruit has incredible potential for “Les Brumeux”. We look forward to sourcing Chardonnay from such a wonderfully picturesque location.

To read more about EnRoute Chardonnay, “Les Brumeux,” please visit our website here.

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Bottling 2013 EnRoute Pinot Noir, “Les Pommiers”

by on August 20, 2014

Last week, the EnRoute production facility was alive with the sounds of clinking bottles and the whirs of forklifts. While most would call this noise, we consider this a melody mécanique indicating the completion of our 2013 EnRoute Pinot Noir, Les Pommiers. This vintage won’t be hitting your cellars until a few months from now, but enjoy this little teaser for the gustatory delights that are to come:

Fans of the 2012 Les Pommiers will be happy to find that the 2013 vintage carries similar notes of cranberry, plum and pomegranate. This upcoming release displays more prominent darker fruits of blackberry and plum, as opposed to the 2012 vintage’s outstanding bing cherry notes, complemented by EnRoute’s hallmark notes of earthy sage, spice and mineral. On the finish, this wine shows chewier tannins and more acidity than past vintages. We anticipate it will be a true delight to pair at the dinner table.

The excitement doesn’t stop here either, folks. The Russian River Valley is bustling with activity. As we wrap up one vintage, the next is already in the works. This week we’ve been gearing up for the arrival of our 2014 Pinot Noir grapes. In fact, harvest starts tonight!

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A Peek into Operations at EnRoute Winery

by on June 30, 2014

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Gordon Smith, Andrew Delos, and Juan “JP” Perez, flanked by Pinot Noir barrels on the left and Chardonnay barrels on the right.

Introducing our EnRoute winemaking team! Our Russian River Valley facility is currently being manned by these three gentlemen and, occasionally, a black Labrador named Jack. Right now, the 2013 vintage is resting comfortably in tank and barrel, and 2014 is still inching towards veraison. We took advantage of this moment of respite to catch up with the EnRoute trio on their roles and duties at EnRoute:

Andrew Delos, Winemaker
What he does
: As winemaker, I focus on vineyard to bottle processing – sourcing and scouting vineyards, sourcing fruit and signing contracts, getting the fruit into tank and making decisions on fermentations and blending.

Best part of the job?: Harvest, hands down. I love being in the cellar doing punch downs, sorting fruit, and filling barrels. We wait nine months for those three months of the year. It’s how the wines are made – our one chance!

Gordon Smith, Enologist
What he does:
I get to run a small, but formidable, laboratory here. My responsibilities include quality control, ensuring our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are healthy and stable, and monitoring the brix (the sugar content in wine) and temperatures of fermentations. I also get to assist in the cellar with crush and wine movements, all the way through bottling.

Best part of the job?: Since we are a small operation, I get to offer a hand in everything – even budgeting! – and I don’t feel pegged to one role.

Juan “JP” Perez, Cellar Supervisor
What he does:
I take care of cellar operations. Right now, my responsibilities include things like checking the tanks in the morning, sanitizing equipment, and topping off barrels.

Best part of the job?: I really enjoy the atmosphere, especially the challenge and excitement of deadlines during harvest and bottling. I’m also happy to transition from our sister winery, Far Niente – I’m a lot closer to my home in Santa Rosa and with the recent birth of my youngest, this really couldn’t have come at a better time.

There you have it folks – our small but mighty EnRoute team! You won’t be seeing these guys traversing any tasting rooms just yet; currently, EnRoute is not able to offer tours and tastings. If you’re interested in getting a hold of our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, please email us at contact@enroutewinery.com or message us on Facebook.

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Tasting Notes: EnRoute Chardonnay, Les Brumeux

by on April 22, 2014

We recently introduced the newest member of the EnRoute family: EnRoute Chardonnay, Les Brumeux. We pride ourselves in our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, but we have to admit that the area also makes a fantastic Chardonnay.

Sensory Evaluation: The 2012 EnRoute Chardonnay, Les Brumeux opens with crisp and flinty aromas of peach, orange blossom, citrus and subtle notes of pineapple. These fruit-dominated aromas slowly give way to floral and mineral notes with citrus zest. Upon entry, beautiful creaminess and stone fruits evolve into warm, toasty oak with an oily texture that coats the entire palate. The wonderfully bright and lively acidity keeps the mouthfeel balanced and leads to a mouthwatering and refreshing finish.

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The complete winemaker’s notes can be found here. If you’re interested in acquiring this limited vintage, please contact us at (707) 944-2412.

We also noticed the 2012 EnRoute Chardonnay has been making its rounds on Instagram and Twitter – if you get a chance to taste Les Brumeux, snap a photo and tweet us with your thoughts at @EnRouteWine!

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