Hand-selected Chardonnay clusters, dehydrated in thes un for three months, a method traditional in the Loire Valley of France. Ravines Appassionata has delicious aromas of baked apples, apricots, Spanish almonds, and honey. It is a sweet wine balanced with bright acidity. Enjoy chilled afer dinner as a desert or pair it with a dessert.
This “passito” style of dessert wine is a very old and traditional style of wine making with great aging potential. After six years in the bottle, the aromas are starting to evolve into the expected rich, complex wine with fruity, straw, honey and candied fruit aromas. Unlike its Italian counterpart, the “Vino Santo”, this wine was not given oxidative aging, so it has retained its freshness and delicate fruity aromas.
The Chardonnay grapes came from Sam Argetsinger’s vineyard on Seneca Lake. The Chardonnay clone in question is the Colmar clone noticed for its particularly loose clusters, making it an ideal choice for this wine.
The hundreds of shallow trays, each containing a single layer of Chardonnay clusters, were place in a dry room with good ventilation allowing the grapes over the course of more than three months to gradually dehydrate and concentrate in sugar and flavor.
The clusters were inspected on a regular basis and imperfect berries were removed to eliminate the formation of mold. Finally in mid-December, the grapes were carefully pressed and the juice was settled. After a long, cool, partial fermentation the resulting dessert wine was allowed to age in stainless steel.
This is, in essence, the traditional method used in the Jura region of France; the area best known for this type of “Vin de Paille” ( literally translated as straw wine, because the grapes used to be dehydrated on a bed of straw).
The wine was racked and filtered prior to bottling.