New Release! Thrilled to introduce our 2011 NADIA Port in the Tasting Room.
Eric LOVES making this extra-curricular wine. Okay, we admit it’s a bit like a vanity project, since our bottling is small: 211 cases. (This is about double what we usually release.) We’re also not known for our Port — an incentive for Eric to make it and, clearly, for us to try it.
The NADIA Port uses full-bodied tannic grapes from our Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah grapes are harvested late, at about 31 Brix. This allows the sugars to develop fully.
We make our Port much like they do in Portugal, with the exception that we substitute high-proof spirits for the brandy to fortify it. That stops the fermentation at the halfway point. So this fermentation process is far faster than with still wines because those high sugars are explosive!
When aging still wine, we must top off the barrel to fill the head-space. If we don’t, oxygen in the barrel allows bacteria to grow. With port, however, “topping off” is unnecessary — the high level of alcohol makes it impossible for bacteria to grow.
Roughly 90% of our port is aged in old oak barrels from Bordeaux. Aging our wine for 6 years means it qualifies as tawny vintage port. By contrast, our still wines age, on average, for 24 months.
We’ve actually produced port annually since 2003– under the Barnwood name – so I’m delighted to say that we’re grandfathered in and our vineyard is allowed to call our port “Port.” Naming rules changed in 2006, out of respect to the Portuguese, who produce port in a designated Port region, which stretches 70 miles in the Douro River Valley. The area has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Port winemaking creates a wine both sweet and high in alcohol. A perfect dessert in its own right. Try it while we have it. You can order it HERE!
Those of you attending our Cellar Dinner on April 29th will have the opportunity try it! A bonus will be to try it that night with our many yummy desserts.
Eric can’t wait to show off this new baby!
A votre santé,