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Winemaking

Winemaking to me is more about art and nature than science
Mitch Cosentino, Winemaker

For more than 35 years, Mitch Cosentino has been making award winning wines sourced from countless vineyards and growing areas.  Yet the vineyard of Secret Rows Ranch is where his viticultural and winemaking expertise has reached remarkable and critically acclaimed heights.  As he often says, "There are no formulas in my world. My vision and instinct unite in guiding all that the vineyard gives us in the creation of wines expressing outstanding balance and breed.  Each wine must be flavorful on release and expected to evolve over time gaining added complexity and grace."

Since all winemaking begins in the vineyard, we see Mitch's efforts before, during and after the growing season as every bit as important to the well being of the vine as is his talent in the winery is to the wine.  We look for the best and most natural fruit picked at the optimum  moment (measured by berry taste and not lab analysis) to ensure proper ripeness and flavor development reflecting the character of the terroir in the wine.  From there the natural profile of the vineyard is left to develop with minimal handling and manipulation in the winery so as not to get in the way of producing a superlative wine enjoyable at all points of its evolving lifespan.

Everything we do in the winery is focused on ensuring balance and structure along with a finely layered aromatic and flavor profile.  In order to achieve these underlying goals, Mitch has always had a strong eye to the time honored techniques of the Old World and a rejection of modern day manipulation and additions.  Specific vineyard blocks as well as individual varietal and clonal lots are fermented in small volume (one ton or less) with the reds hand punched down during fermentation to emphasize a gentle treatment and avoid over extraction.

After fermentation the wines are transferred to a carefully selected range of new and used French oak
barrels to rest comfortably during the aging process and after blending.  Barrel selection is carefully conducted by Mitch, pairing specific French oak regions, tonnelleries, and barrel types to specific varietals, clones and vineyard blocks.  The concept of this rigorous selection is also reflective of Old World beliefs and consummates our steadfast commitment to producing wines of superior quality and graceful aging potential.