Matt Murphy on Winemaking
In striving to create elegant, balanced wines that convey the essence of their individual grape variety, vineyard and vintage, our
winemaking philosophy is simple: No interference.
Through our separate experiences with winemaking in the Napa Valley, Santa Maria Valley and South Africa, Dieter Cronje and I have
come to the same minimalist philosophy. We believe the best wines are hand crafted with pristine fruit, very little manipulation and the
utmost respect for place. We also hold the fervent belief that Santa Maria Valley has all the prerequisites for producing elegant,
We work hand-in-hand with Presqu'ile Vineyard manager,
Jim Stollberg, planning our vineyards and learning the nuances of every
block and every vintage. Assistant winemaker Jonathan Murphy plays an integral role in every part of the process.
Except for intensive shoot and cluster thinning, hand-harvesting and hand-sorting, our team stays out of the way to let the
exquisite fruit speak through our wines.
Intensely flavored fruit from Presqu'ile Vineyards is complemented by grapes carefully selected from other exceptional regional
vineyards such as Bien Nacido,
Rim Rock and Phelan Ranch-
Steiner Creek, giving our wines subtle layering, complexity and clarity.
Grapes are hand harvested earlier than most, at moderately low brix, for brilliant wines that are relatively low in alcohol.
Grapes are gently handled and transported to our winery, then carefully hand-sorted before being fermented in small lots, enabling
us to understand every nuance of every clone, vineyard block, and vintage.
We rely exclusively on native yeast for fermentation – a practice we find yields a more seamless wine. To ensure oak imparts the
subtlest of spice in our wines, Presqu'ile wine is aged in 50-75% neutral French oak barrels, as well as stainless steel tanks and
one concrete egg. White wines are bottled unfined, red wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Read more about the Santa Maria Valley's unique terroir, our
wines, and join the conversation on our