Oyster River Winegrowers American White Wine 2020 - Warren, Maine
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Sustainably managed. Harvested intentionally on the early side to retain crispness and freshness. The fruit was separated into three. One-third was pressed into the barrel, one-third pressed into stainless steel, and the final third was given 2 days of skin contact before pressing into the barrel. All of it was wild yeast fermented with no additions or subtractions.
Brian Smith is the winemaker at Oyster River Winegrowers. He has a traditional education in winemaking from Fresno State University but uses that knowledge base to make distinct wines in ways that may have been common in pre-industrial times. He believes his role in the winemaking process is to be more of nature's assistant than a winemaker. Their winery is very low-tech. They use no refrigeration in their winemaking process and their winery is just very gently heated through the winter with wood harvested from their farm. Most of their fermentations start spontaneously with native yeasts that occur on the fruit and in the cellar and play out over the course of several months. They add nothing and take nothing away from the natural chemistry of the fruit. No acidulation, deacidification, chaptalization, amelioration, tannins, enzymes, or yeast nutrients are used. All of their Ciders and their Sparkling Wines are bottled without the addition of any sulfites and are not filtered. Still, wines are minimally sulfited and filtered gently where necessary. Their farm supplies the fruit for "Panacea", their homegrown traditional method sparkling wine, and a good portion of our Cider. In addition to these products, I enjoy making wines with grapes from other regions that inspire me.