“Our wine is tightly and solely controlled by us from vineyard through bottling. This is only achievable as a 100 percent estate winery.” —MICHAEL SCHOLZ
Q&A with Winemaker Michael Scholz Around eight percent of all Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is grown at St. Supéry. What are the characteristics of these grapes and their wines? Sauvignon Blanc
grows exceptionally well at the lower elevations of Dollarhide Ranch. We have over 200 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted with Clone 1, our primary clone. Over 18 years ago, I made a field selection of this clone, selecting vines that were particularly expressive. It is now the majority of our Sauvignon Blanc and unique to our property. The wines are powerful, balanced, and emphasize purity of fruit with grapefruit and green lime.
P HOTO S : M E G S M IT H
What have you done in the winery to shift the focus to single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon? We’ve added new equipment
WHAT TO BUY
SPECIAL NOTES CERTIFIED NAPA GREEN, INTERACTIVE WINE EXPERIENCES, 100% ESTATE, PET FRIENDLY, 2019 GREAT WINE CAPITALS AWARD FOR SUSTAINABLE WINE TOURISM
’18 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Grapefruit, lime, kiwi, toasted oak $35 ’15 Dollarhide Elevation Black currants, toasted oak, red plum, mocha $85 ’15 Rutherford Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Black plum, blackberries, cherries, dark mocha $125 79
and now double hand sort our fruit. We use an optical sorter to ensure that every red grape is sorted to the berry level. Last year, we experimented with triple berry sorting for even greater control over quality. Our focus is on small-lot management with open-top fermenters, and we often have over 120 lots of just Cabernet Sauvignon. We micromanage every lot, evaluating agricultural and cellar practices, then fine tune our actions in the vineyard and winery for the next vintage. A few years ago, I worked with one of our coopers on custom barrel toasts to create more depth and complexity and to convey uniqueness in our wines. We are always evaluating new techniques and equipment to improve quality. What does it mean to work exclusively with estate grapes? Our wine is tightly
and solely controlled by us from vineyard through bottling. This is only achievable as a 100 percent estate winery. Agriculture is not just farming, it is science and specific to the location while at the will of Mother Nature. Growing all of our own grapes gives us complete control over farming. The only thing we can’t control is Mother Nature herself.