Vineyards: Walla Walla Valley vineyards excelled under 2016’s warm growing conditions. A selection of top Walla Walla vineyards, which contribute 50% of this blend, provide the wine’s rich mid-palate and vibrant bing cherry flavors. Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet (25%) gives the wine its structure and intense fruit flavors. The balance of the blend was sourced from a selection of Randy’s favorite Columbia Valley vineyards that define Feather’s rich, ripe character year after year.
Vintage: The 2016 vintage was another hot growing season that required extra care in the vineyards. Building on the success of our canopy management program over the last few vintages, we worked with growers throughout the season to encourage growth of the canes and outside foliage to protect against the sun while opening up the fruit zone for even maturation. Warm temperatures in the fall hastened ripening, but the Columbia Valley’s cool autumn nights protected the grapes’ acidity resulting in rich and balanced wines.
Winemaking: Handpicked grapes were sorted, lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless-steel tanks. Then, at the peak of fermentation, the cap was pumped over aggressively to enhance color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavor without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in all French oak barrels, 90% new.