On October 3rd 7.2 tons of El Camino Real Vineyard Grenache destined for rose production was received by Sunstone Winery. Three tons of the lot was crushed and left to sit on the skins for three hours before being incorporated with the remaining 4.2 tons and gently pressed off the skins. A week after pressing the juice was racked and inoculated using X5 yeast from Laffort and left to ferment for two weeks at 55 degrees. Post fermentation the wine was racked again and left to age in a chilled stainless-steel tank for three months before being bottled in January 2018.
The 2017 vintage was the first time Sunstone has incorporated Provence winemaking techniques into the rose programs. This method calls for chilling the unfermented juice down to 30 degrees and constantly incorporating the aroma-rich sediment from the press cycle, called the “lees”, into the unfermented juice by either mixing or using dry ice. This process releases compounds called “thiols” which are responsible for many tropical fruit aromas in white and rose winemaking. This delicate method of releasing more thiols into the juice gives a perception of sweetness to the final wine without having residual sugar.