Long Dog Vineyard & Winery
We began planting in 1999 and now have 25,000 vines over 20 acres. There are 11,000 Pinot Noir, 9,000 Chardonnay, 3,000 Pinot Gris and 2,000 Gamay. The current yield, depending on the vintage, is about 3500 cases. All the wines are made using grapes only from our vineyards.
In September the entire vineyard is netted against birds, and an electric fence surrounds the perimeter to keep out the raccoons. After harvest 2-3 canes are laid down on a low wire and dirt is hilled up on them for the winter to ensure a crop. With trial and error we have invented several tractor attachments to make this process as efficient as possible, including de-hilling in the spring.
Harvesting begins as the weather dictates, anywhere from mid-September into October. All the processing is done on site in the barns across the road. The grapes are hand picked and sorted, then crushed and de-stemmed (by machine not feet). Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are left on their skins for 24 hours then pressed out, the Gris goes into stainless steel tanks and Chardonnay is barrel fermented using various ages of wood.
Pinot Noir is left on its skins for up to 10 days in cold-soak maceration. Depending on the vintage, native or cultured yeast is used in fermentation. The wine is pressed, racked and aged in French oak for up to 24 months.
The secret to great wine is healthy, ripe fruit. If you look after the vineyard properly, have a decent growing season, ideally hot and dry, and don’t over crop the vines, you will be rewarded with wine that is loaded with the flavours unique to the region where the grapes are grown. But don’t just take our word for it, go ahead and taste for yourself.