La Vie Estate has chosen Steve & Cindy Newsom Vineyards and English Newsom Cellars as their vineyard and winemaker partners. Working with award winning partners from vine to wine, ensures the right experts are working every stage of the process. To offer boutique wines, La Vie Estate works side by side to craft unique wines for our patrons. Read on for a little background on what goes into every bottle.
~ Grape Grower ~
• Steve Newsom grows 21 varietals in Hockley County, Texas. His vineyards are on 100 acres just west of Lubbock, at an elevation of 3,600 feet. The landscape is flat, but its steady tilt to the North gives the Texas High Plains grapes opportunities to grow a broad array of varietals.
~ Harvest ~
• During harvest the focus changes from grape growing to the juice. Our harvest season typically begins in August and lasts through September.
• Harvest primarily depends on the balance of sugar and acid in the grape. Grape growers are occasionally forced to harvest before the grapes are ripe if the weather begins to cool or heavy rains are expected which can cause bunches to rot or absorb too much liquid and burst. Assuming weather isn’t a contributor, there is still a fair amount of guesswork because grapes don’t ripen uniformly. Grapes within a single bunch can range from over ripe to under ripe. The Newsoms are looking for the perfect balance of what each section of vineyard will produce when mixed together.
~ Sorting ~
• Sorting is done by a harvester machine. This machine destems and sorts the fruit into either 3 ton gondolas or half-ton bins called macro bins.
• The bins are emptied into an auger where any last second MOG (matter other than grapes) is taken out by hand. Then the loose grapes are inclined directly into the press or into the tank to make wine.
~ Crushing and Pressing ~
• Pressing is the process of removing any remaining wine from the grape skins. When the winemaking team has decided which tanks to press, the skins are dug out by hand (an incredibly labor-intensive process) and put through the press.
~ Fermentation ~
• With pressing complete all the wine is in the tank and (secondary) malolactic fermentation can be initiated. After malolactic fermentation, the wines will rest in their tanks for a few more months where they are racked until it’s time to make the final blend in January.
• Primary fermentation takes 1 month for white wines and 10 days for red wines. Our red wine and specially selected whites go through a secondary (malolactic) fermentation before the aging process begins. During fermentation, the winemaking team tastes each tank daily to see how the wines are progressing. Once primary fermentation is complete, the juice is technically wine, it still has a long way to go before it becomes the award winning wine that you know and love.
~ Bottling ~
• The final stage of the wine making process involves the aging and bottling of wine. Its precise execution is imperative to capturing the essence of the particular vintage, grape varietal, and the winemaker’s style. It is the final stage of the winemaking process and the last time our winemaking team can touch the wine before sending it out into the world.
~ Wine Tasting ~
• Producing wine on our own premises and with our own grapes allows us to have complete control over all aspects of the winemaking process. This gives our customers the confidence that year after year we will deliver both quality and yields to support and grow the Texas wine industry and the Texas economy.
Cheers to our hard-working winemaking and cellar teams!
La Vie • 9560 Ranch Road 1623 • Blanco, TX 78606 • info@LaVieEstate.com • Phone: 830.262.0903
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