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David Girard Vineyards

Grayson Hartley
October 14, 2016 | Grayson Hartley

Shiro: The Making of a Premier White Wine



Most white wines are made in stainless steel tanks. Some are made in cement tanks. Others are barrel fermented. In California, in particular, most white wines are very drinkable. Of course, personal taste plays a large part in what wine -red or white- one enjoys most. That is as it should be. That being said some wines are special when compared to all others, no matter what. We believe our Shiro is one of those wines. The question is: what makes it so?

It is almost a cliché to say that what makes a premier wine “premium” depends on the vineyard. But saying so does not make it any less true. It is the soil. It is the climate. It is the location. It is the topography. It is the interaction and combination of all of these elements, and more. That is what starts the life of premier wine. Not every wine can claim such a special pedigree. It is a matter of good fortune that the California foothills are blessed with one of the world's treasured terroirs. The fruit produced in our terroir has every chance to be special.

How the vineyard is managed is the next step. It is the selection of a particular varietal, in a particular location, and at a particular time within the vineyard that matters. Small lot harvesting matters, as do hand pruning, hand leaf pulling to manage the canopy, and hand picking clusters of grapes from carefully tended low yield vines.

Our new Shiro grapes have seen what is special in the vineyard. We have made those special grapes into wine.

The Shiro, which you will taste, is made of 35% Marsanne, 35% Rolle, 15% Roussanne, 15% Grenache Blanc. 18 months in barrel have impressed a complex array of aromas and flavors into the wine. Perhaps you’ll pick up aromas that are the unmistakable mark of longer aging – nutty almond, butterscotch, or dried apricot – right alongside bright, fresh flavors like citrus oil and key lime pie. We’re also betting that a full year-and-a-half in barrel has prepared this wine for long bottle-aging potential, and it will become even more interesting over the next decade of its life.

Most of all we hope you simply enjoy this very special wine at least half as much as we enjoyed making it for you.


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