Donkey & Goat

Berkeley's first natural winery, crafting wines
from sustainably farmed vineyards since 2004.

Peter Liem’s recent column about un-grafted vines in Wine and Spirits is worth a read. (Found via Eric Asimov’s blog. )

We often make this same comparison between native yeasts and commercial yeasts. The native yeast is not a single species – various yeasts compete. Each vineyard clearly has its own flora. Thinking about the article made me wonder if it was actually even closer to talk about nutrients. Products like Fermaid ensure safe, complete fermentation. They also make sure that any nutrient lacking in the terroir is provided. Thinking in terms of cheese, imagine a Rochefort producer taking her sheep’s milk and adding nutrients to make sure it was like velveeta.

At some point, it would be fun to try wines, from the same vineyard, made with ungrafted vs grafted vines, no added yeast, added yeast, no nutrients, added nutrients.

Anyway, if you want to try a bottle of ungrafted Chardonnay, pick up our Brousseau Chardonnay. The vines are ungrafted. And in late 2010, we will release a chardonnay from Anderson Valley which may be called “un-tended”. It is from old, un-grafted chardonnay without any of the typical vineyard work. Our first effort (or perhaps lack of effort) at finding what true terroir, following, however inadvertently, the work of Masanobu Fukuoka.

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