If there were a phrase that would define Campovida’s winemaking program, it would be “without compromise”. The primary goal of this program is to craft world-class wines grown exclusively in Mendocino County, so we put special attention to the growers we partner with because as we all know, it all starts in the vineyard. Quality and not quantity is the key ingredient as our lots range from 50 to 300 cases, allowing the winemaking team to truly focus on each individual lot with care.
Campovida’s winemaking program focuses on showcasing Mendocino County fruit exclusively. We source our grapes from different sub appellations within Mendocino County such as Yorkville Highlands, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley and Mendocino AVA. We search for specific grape varietals that excel at each particular appellation and terroir, giving us flexibility in the amount of wines that we can produce.
The winemaking philosophy practiced at Campovida is minimalistic in nature. The effort starts at the vineyard, picking grapes when they are physiologically mature as opposed to harvesting them when they have gained a specific sugar level while disregarding all other parameters that make a great wine. This method guarantees that we won’t have to “tweak” the wines prior, during or after fermentation due to their original chemistry imbalances, but most importantly, this approach leads to wines that have individuality. During fermentation, we rely widely on the use of native yeast to carry out the fermentations, producing wines that have a sense of place. Moreover, we inhibit white wines from going through malolactic fermentation because we don’t want to mask their fruity character with the buttery aroma of diacetyl, the by-product of malolactic fermentation. Red wines on the other hand do go through malolactic fermentation with the use of native bacteria that is at the cellar, again enhancing that sense of place in them. Also, red wines are the result of the use of only the “free-run” fraction. This means that after primary fermentation has ended, only the wine that falls freely from the tank is put in barrel for aging. We never press the skin left in the tank in order to extract a few more gallons out of it as the “free-run” fraction is of the highest quality and free of any bitter and green tannins often extracted in the “press fraction”. Finally, we age all of the wines in neutral French oak free of any flavors that may impart any oaky characteristics into the wines. We do this on purpose because we want to keep the wines truly to who they are as individuals and with different personalities as well as to showcase the vineyards they came from.
There is not one step in the grape-growing and winemaking cycle that gets overlooked or neglected. Everything we do is done with care and passion, and that makes the difference between a good wine from an amazing wine.