The Windy Oaks Estate Philosophy
Since our first vintage in 1999, the driving objective of Windy Oaks has been to produce world-class Pinot Noir that faithfully represents our unique vineyard terroir, with no compromises. Our winemaking begins in our vineyards, which we farm in a fully sustainable way, using many organic and biodynamic practices. This fundamental principle extends to the other varietals we farm and produce.
In the winery, our objective is to use a minimal intervention approach to fully preserve the grape quality achieved in our vineyards. Fermentations start slowly using native yeast, and often take a month or more to complete. Nothing is rushed—every effort is made to let the wine evolve naturally to its best expression. Hence, the winery is all-gravity, wines are aged on their lees in French oak for 17 to 27 months, and all wines are bottled using our state-of-the-art bottling line without filtering or fining.
In recent years, Windy Oaks has pioneered a variety of innovative practices in its vineyards and winery. Among them, in the vineyard we use a multi-stage pruning process; leaf-pulling within the vine canopy; avoidance of hedging (inspired by Leroy in Burgundy); and the use of a hot-air machine to minimize the need for chemical sprays and to control undesirable insects. In the winery, we use a naturally occurring yeast to eliminate the need for SO2 during crush; specially designed fermentation barrels for maximum preservation of delicate nuances of aroma and flavor in the wines; and no barrel racking. Finally, we extend aging on the lees to enhance mouthfeel and phenolic integration, and eliminate all filtering and fining of the wines, including the white varietals.