Last week, Montevina Winery, based in California's Amador County, opened a new facility that will allow it to double its production. The winery, best known for its Zinfandels, also produces Italian varietals such as Barbera, Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.
Montevina is owned by Trinchero Family Estates, which also runs Sutter Home Winery in Napa Valley. Starting with the 2000 vintage, Montevina will produce 200,000 cases annually, twice what it made last year. This will also be the first vintage that Montevina will make a Zinfandel-based Port.
In its new 64,000-square-foot facility, Montevina will use "rack and return" maceration, a common method used in French wineries. In this process, macerating grape juice is removed from the stainless steel tank and stored elsewhere. The winemaker then removes the seeds from the tank and returns the juice, resulting in lower tannins.
Montevina previously operated out of a smaller 5,000-square-foot winery, which was growing increasingly out-of-date. "The old winery, frankly, was kind of funky -- old barrels, old equipment," said Stanley Hock, spokesman for Trinchero Family Estates. "Now our winemaker, Jeff Meyers, can literally sit at his desk and manipulate the temperature of the vats by the stroke of a computer key. It's truly jaw-dropping."
Montevina's new winery, in the Sierra Foothills, is open to visitors, and offers tastings daily. Montevina also plans to start public tours in the next few months.
20680 Shenandoah School Road
Plymouth, CA 95669
Phone: (209) 245-6942
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily
Check out recent ratings of Montevina wines.