The process of making Terra 9 starts in our vineyards every year as the vines awaken from their winter slumber and begin to breathe again with new life.
We make Terra 9 using a different approach from that of our Taplin Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from a very targeted, precise location of our vineyard every year. With Terra 9 we can take advantage of the entire estate – experimenting with different blocks and introducing new farming practices – and really stretch the limit of where our vineyard can go.
When our winemaker, Julien Fayard, starts to assess the vineyard in the Spring, the first thing he does is select the sections of the vineyard that are good candidates to go into Terra 9. He chooses the sections based on prior year performance, and has some favorite spots by now, but is also always experimenting and testing new ones to add new sources to the wine. Through the Spring he is active with the sections he has chosen, managing the canopies, pruning them, monitoring budbreak, and dropping fruit as necessary so that only the best remains. Once the selection is final and has been harvested, the winemaking process begins.
We make sure that each block is fermented separately and that the lots go into separate barrels so that when we taste the wine during its maturation we always know where the fruit has come from. Does each lot taste differently, you might wonder? Yes, they do! We learn a lot about our vineyard from continuing to keep each lot separate, and the lots are not blended together until right before bottling.
Terra 9, above all, is a wine that starts in the vineyard, and is an expression of what our vineyard is truly capable of. All this diligence and attention to detail pays off when the wine is released. What you get in the bottle is a super selection, from the field to the barrel to the bottle.
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