Winemaking is nature’s gift to us. It is a process that can take place without the touch of a human hand and we are in awe of it. Of course, we do use our hands to fuse science and art in crafting a grape into another delicious form and give it a whole new complete life in the bottle. Our idea is that great fruit makes fine wine and we want that fact to show through. To that end, we use oak subtly, keep the alcohols at moderate levels and blend carefully, among other techniques. We let the grape shine, which results in wonderful wines of true varietal characteristics. One of the aspects of the wine business which amuses Judd is the idea that it's so "romantic." As he says, "Crushing grapes is nasty, grungy, necessity-fulfilling labor. Beginning in August and lasting through October from early morning until after dark we're hoisting bins, shoveling pomace, pitchforking stems, hauling hoses, hand bucketing must into the press, pumping over, punching down, picking grapes, lugging lugs, towing trailers, sorting MOG, and getting through a myriad of other toils. Also, it's darn hot out! The sweltering weather can be brutal, but we must wear long sleeved shirts with collars up, long pants, and heavy gloves to protect ourselves from the masses of bees and yellow jackets which swarm to sip the sugary grape juice covering not only the crusher, but our sticky selves as well. I won't even mention the spiders and rattlesnakes which find this time of year pleasant for social visits. Romantic? It's barely pleasant. So why do I put myself through this every year? I'm selfish. The season is rough, but once the grapes stop arriving and that last press-load has run into a barrel, a wonderful sensation fills me. The understanding that we have taken our hands to the soil to grow luscious fruit, and then from that, employing our senses, have created and crafted a sumptuous wine which gives great pleasure to so many, is the greatest satisfaction I have known. When the cork is popped and that deep red, fabulously aromatic drink is met with appreciation, I feel a warm encompassing wave of pride. Wow! You romantics can keep your ideal visions. I know the harvest has toil, trouble, heat and vermin, and I say 'Bring it on!' Because in the end, it makes me happy."

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