Neyers Vineyards sits in the heart of the Napa Valley but Bruce’s experience with French wine importer Kermit Lynch has had an undeniable influence on our wines. Many of the French producers Bruce works with farm organically, make their wines naturally without use of cultured yeast or laboratory designed malo-lactic starter, and bottle their wines without fining or filtration. We like their results and utilize many of their ideas.
Our barrels are made in France, to our specifications, from wood that we buy in bulk and air dry for three years, two years longer than normal. All of our grapes are picked by hand, into small bins that hold only one-half ton. They are then laboriously hand sorted and inspected at the winery. Grapes that require travel of more than thirty minutes to our winery are delivered in refrigerated trucks.
The production of outstanding wine is invariably accompanied by some degree of risk, and with the help of many of our French colleagues, we’ve learned how to minimize that risk, and make it work to our advantage.
Our Merlot comes entirely from our Conn Valley ranch Bordeaux-inspired vineyards surrounding our home. The combination of a cordon-pruned, vertical-trellis system on a tightly spaced planting grid serves to keep yields low and quality high. The vineyard is planted to a traditional mix of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. We harvest low yields at optimum ripeness, then ferment for 30 days or more to ensure maximum extraction of color and flavor, which invariably results in greater complexity.
Our Chardonnay grapes are not crushed, but slowly whole-cluster pressed. The juice is racked directly into barrel, fermented naturally with indigenous wild yeast, and allowed to settle naturally as the wine ages over the next several months. The process is time consuming and expensive, but it produces a level of richness and complexity missing from Chardonnay produced otherwise.
While Syrah is less than 10% of our annual production, the equipment to produce it takes up 50% of the cellar space at our winery. We cold soak the must for up to a week, and make no sulfur-dioxide addition at harvest. The grapes are then crushed by foot – not by machine. Fermentation in custom-designed, open-top tanks enables us to vary the level of stem retention for each lot of wine, and to manually ‘punch-down’ the cap, following the time-honored Rhone Valley tradition.
All of our wines are made with an eye for quality, and a deep-seated passion for excellence.
Our wines are aged with as little intervention as possible, and in most years we bottle our wines with neither fining nor filtration, using a state of the art mobile bottling line. No expense has been spared in our grape growing, winemaking practices, or processing equipment, yet customers repeatedly tell us that our wines represent great value in today’s highly competitive wine market.