Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves
Stuart Bewley’s well-known property off a narrow, winding road contains nearly 6,000 acres of wooded forests. The vineyard itself is approximately 100 acres and can be found at 2,700 feet above sea level, clinging to the ridges of decomposing sandstone approximately 12 miles from the ocean. Stuart uses his wooded wilderness as conservation, and in the vineyard, sediment pools catch runoff, ensuring minimal impact on the fish in local streams. The entire vineyard is farmed without tilling: A permanent cover crop protects the topsoil of the organically-grown grapevines.
2021 saw an incredibly small yield from this property. Tonnage may be small, but the resulting wines have incredible depth and produce wines capable of cellaring for many years. The chardonnay block was hand harvested on September 2nd in the early morning to preserve freshness. Fruit was sorted, pressed off the skins and 75% was placed into French oak barrels (30% new) for both primary and secondary fermentation using native yeasts. Stainless steel was used for the remaining 25% to balance the freshness of the wine. The wine was kept on the lees for both primary and secondary fermentation, then racked off the lees and aged for a further seven months.
Named for the vineyard propagation method of selecting particular vines within an old vineyard and using this subset to for new vines, Alder Springs has an incredibly diverse portfolio of chardonnay clones. Complex and layered, this is a lush chardonnay that balances notes of creaminess and vanilla with bright citrus and a mouthwatering finish.