Road 13's wine making philosophy is to grow great fruit in the vineyard, maintain this fruit character through careful steps in the wine making, and finally, to perfect the texture of the mouthfeel of the wine with the use (or not) of barrels and fining.
Great wines are grown in the vineyard, period. Grapes brought in from the vineyard at a certain level of quality cannot be made into a higher quality wine. Thus, we use good growing practices and low cropping yields to ensure that the vines and fruits receive the correct amount of sunshine, water and nutrients to put them in a position to make great wine.
We like to use oak barrels. All reds and certain whites are aged in oak barrels for varying lengths of time, looking for the perfect balance between fruit intensity and oak extraction. While the taste and effect of oak barrel aging are pleasing, they should never dominate the fruit flavour of the wine but rather complement it.
The final blend is painstakingly arrived at, whether it is several lots of Chardonnay to make a varietal Chardonnay wine, or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc lots to make a blended red wine. As all grape lots that are received at the winery are kept separate thoughout their processing and ageing, there are many blending options available to make a wine that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Blending is primarily about bringing complexity; it's about building layers. A single varietal wine can present itself louder, but do you hear the trumpet or do you hear the symphony?