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Subtlety and balance. These two words are their mantra for making wines. Their goal is not to make wines with the biggest, boldest, over the top flavors. Their goal is to produce wines that allow the nuances of each vintage and each vineyard’s character to be enjoyed. Too much of any single aspect of a wine’s flavor-profile will hide or interfere with others, thus, we also strive for balanced wines.
Subtlety and balance also describe their work in the vineyard and the cellar. A balanced vine will have just the right amount of fruit and that fruit will be flavorful and ripe at harvest, but still have the correct amount of acidity. In the vineyard they work hard and proactively to achieve this balance. On the other hand, in the cellar they work very hard not to get in the way of the wine as it develops. They watch it, listen to it, smell it and taste it constantly, but they try not to interfere. This can be nerve-wracking, because the wild yeasts used in fermentation sometimes have a mind of their own, but the end-result is wine with exciting and unique character.
Akiko Shiba believes that proper vineyard management is critical to making excellent wines. She also believes that the winemaker should also be performing the vineyard management. This allows the winemaker to be intimately familiar with the vines and the grapes long before they arrive at the cellar. However, Shiba Wichern Cellars does not own their own vineyards yet and must rely on good relationships with their vineyard owners to help them achieve their goals.
|Country of Origin||United States|
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