Talks with Todd: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay On the Way

Smooth, buttery Chardonnays are my favorite wines.

I went to my first wine tasting ever (shortly after turning 21) on Long Island last summer, and that’ s when I realized that I love to learn about wine.  I asked them all sorts of questions, most of which they couldn’t/wouldn’t answer: what’s the difference between a note and a tone? how do the different flavors get into the wine?  why are some wines pink?  I went back to Long Island this summer, and I did a tasting at Wolfer Estates:  I fell in love with their buttery Chardonnay.

Hawk Haven has a traditional barrel fermented Chardonnay that will be ready in the fall.  I keep trying to sneak into the production facility with the wine-thief and have a taste of it, but I haven’t pulled that off yet.

Given how good our stainless-steel fermented Chardonnay is (that’s the American Kestrel White), I have very high hopes for this new wine.

Todd Filtering the Chardonnay

Todd Climbing up the Ladder to Filter the ChardonnayTodd and Lalo just took the Chardonnay out of the barrels and moved it into the stainless-steel casks where they will filter out the tartrates, which are salts that naturally occur in wine, but that we filter out for aesthetic reasons.

Cleaning out the Plastic Totes for the Chardonnay

The Chardonnay has already been through two fermentation cycles.  First , Todd and Lalo added yeast, which converts the sugars in the grapes to alcohol.  Next, they put the wine through Malolactic fermentation, which converts tart-tasting malic acid into lactic acid, which is much smoother.  The result: a beautiful and buttery Chardonnay.  Perfect as we transition from summer to fall…

So mid-blog, Todd walked in and I tried to convince him to let me try the Chardonnay.  “Todd, I need to try to Chardonnay – it’s for the blog, and it’s necessary.”

Success!  I’m drinking it right now; it’s smooth, buttery and beautiful.  Come try it when it’s ready in the fall!

The Barrels that the Chardonnay Used to be in

Sneaking the Chardonnay

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas


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