Our Winemaking Process: Blessed Soil, Believable Wines

After honing our skills as grape growers for a decade, we felt the time right in 2007 to begin processing our fruit on-site at our new micro-winery. For philosophical reasons, we took this step to further enhance our wines’ capacity to reflect their true origin.

This first Estate vintage of 2007 Christopher Bridge Pinot Noir was awarded “cum laude” equivalent in each of three major Westcoast events in 2009 and we congratulate especially our winegrower and winemaker Chris Carlberg on the honors.

Pinot Noir

We bring our red grapes directly from the picker’s hand in 24-pound buckets to a crush pad where they are transferred to the sorting table. Critical eyes and hands then identify and remove leaves and imperfect clusters before allowing the fruit to make its way through the destemmer into 1.5 ton fermenters where the “grape must” undergoes a three- to four-day cold soak prior to being inoculated with a yeast of our choice. Fermentations are kept relatively cool at 84 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit with manual punch-down twice daily. Once the fermenting grapes have achieved -1 to -2 Brix, they are pressed off, settled and the juice is put into French barrels using from 25 – 100% new French Oak. After giving the wine rest in barrel, it still undergoes a second, malolactic, fermentation which it should have completed by January of the following year . At this stage, the winery is cooled down and the wines are kept topped off and monitored. Depending on the youthfulness of the vines and quality of the harvest, wines will be barrel aged anywhere from 10 to 16 months. After bottling, they receive additional cellaring from 1 to 3 years before their release.

Pinot Gris

Our white grapes also come to the crush pad in 24-pound buckets. Part of the lot is whole-cluster pressed and part is destemmed and pressed. After settling, we transfer the juice into stainless steel barrels and tanks and inoculate with yeast. White wines are fermented at much cooler temperatures in the mid 60 degree F. range. Most of the white wines do not go through malolactic fermentation. After clarification and stabilization, the wine is ready for bottling in Spring and ready for release by Summer.

The Winery

“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which the food comes from.” – Wendell Berry

What do the wines taste like?

Looking out over our vineyards each day and contemplating all that must work together to bring in a successful harvest of good fruit as the cornerstone to a great vintage, can be daunting, to say the least! We therefore consider it a great honor to consistently pursue perfection in both, winegrowing and winemaking.

We taste our wines throughout their maturation in barrel and, above all, make every effort to place artistry in the winemaking above “technological winemaking by prescription.” Because wine, especially Pinot Noir, is delicate and impressionable, it can and will be perceived differently by different palates. It seems to change a little all the time, maybe influenced by the lunar phases, the atmospheric pressure or the temperature where it is served, and especially the mood of those drinking it.

“I most like to talk about wine as an experience or a place. For example, the ‘04 C.B. Pinot Noir reminds me of stepping into the forest of conifers just south of the vineyard for a short respite from a hot day’s work in the summer sun. I find and pick a few wild blackberries. A sweet hint of the earth, mixed with the tanginess of fir needles lingers in the air with other scents of the woods. I see myself looking through the cool shadows out into the sun and across to the vineyard which is alive with bright tendril growth and ripening grape clusters. The taste is a bit mysterious but peaceful: cherries, berries, warm hands, farm bounty … and the moment. A wine seems most right when it can vividly remind you of someplace, some experience, or someone.” – C.C.

Library

  • 01 C.B. Pinot Noir
  • 02 C.B. Pinot Noir
  • 03 C.B. Pinot Noir
  • 03 C.B. Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 01 C.B. Pinot Gris
  • 02 C.B. Pinot Gris
  • 03 C.B. Pinot Gris
  • 04 Anne Louise Pinot Gris
  • 04 C.B. Pinot Noir
  • 05 Anne Louise Pinot Gris
  • 05 C.B. Pinot Noir
  • 06 C.B. Pinot Noir DNP
  • 07 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 07 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 07 C.B. Estate Pinot Noir
  • 07 C.B. Estate Pinot Noir DNP
  • 08 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 08 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 09 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 09 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 09 C.B. Anne Louise PG semi
  • 10 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 10 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 11 C.B. Anne Louise PG semi
  • 11 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 11 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 12 C.B. Estate Ehrenfelser
  • 12 C.B. Estate Pinot Gris
  • 12 C.B. Estate Muscat
  • 12 C.B. Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 12 C.B. Pinot Noir

Current Releases

 

•  15 C.B. Pinot Gris classic

•  14 C.B. Ehrenfelser

•  15 C.B. Pinot Gris “Dolly”

•  15 C.B. Muscat

•  15 C.B. Kerner

•  16 C.B. Sauvignon Blanc

•  10 C.B. Pinot Noir

•  11 C.B. Pinot Noir

•  13 C.B. Pinot Noir

•  14 C.B. Pinot Noir

 

 

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