Van Duzer Vineyards’ wines possess a purity of fruit and a pleasing balance that is the product of precise farming and equally precise winemaking.
IN 2006, Van Duzer Vineyards built a 20,000 case capacity winery to house many small fermenters and to better control the winemaking process. Designed by Architect Larry Ferar with contracting by O’Brien Constructors, the winery was one of the first LIVE certified wineries in the state. Partially buried in the hillside, the cellar maintains consistent temperatures and relies on design features that minimize its use of energy. Its features include a cooling roof, cooling fans and superior insulation which allows highly controlled temperatures in the barrel rooms.
Winemaker Florent Pierre Merlier’s philosophy is centered around gentle handling and individual intervention based on the specificity and needs of each lot, a method which helps to preserve the fruit character unique to each grape clone. His detailed knowledge of the property him to develop each wine based on the complexity and quality of each lot.
In the winery, fruit from each vineyard block is handled separately throughout its cellar life. Even within the same vineyard block, grapes picked on different days are processed individually. That means that Van Duzer deals with 50 to 100 lots of wine, each handled as if it is destined for a reserve designation.
Florent refines the fermentation and maceration processes based upon past vintage experiences and data. He selects yeast strains to enhance aroma, color, flavor, mouth-feel, acid and tannin levels to create optimal synergies. Van Duzer’s many coopers (more than 15) further bring out the best of the fruit and varied toasting times and other specificities to create the desired levels of complexity and structure.