The winemaking at Tarara Winery is pretty simple as we only have one rule: "Don't mess up the work done in the vineyard"! We simply have a great time hanging out in our 6000 sq. ft cave that naturally holds a temperature in the high 50's, low 60's, and 75% humidity.
The winemaking team of Jordan Harris and Tim Kish (as well as Kevin Goolsby when he isn't on a tractor in the vineyard) is all about a hands-off approach to winemaking and doing as little as possible to interfere with what the grape offers. We aim to create wines using indigenous yeast fermentations without the need of enologic enzymes, tannins, etc. All that stuff is already in the grape and we just want to coerce it out as naturally as possible. At times we will use some enzymes or commercial yeast with new vineyards as we get an understanding of the past management of the site and what the vineyard has to offer.
The goal is to handle the grapes as gently as possible, using Pulse-Air to move the cap on our red ferments, and maceration that lasts up to 35 days on the skins. The whites are usually whole cluster pressed (though we are always experimenting, especially with skin contact on Viognier) anaerobically to minimize harsh and bitter characters from the skins and seeds while preserving the fresh nature of the ripe fruit.
About half of the white wine is fermented and aged in Jupilles Forest barrels (a specific tight-grained and sustainable French oak forest) ranging from new to over 10 years old for about 10 months unless we feel less or more is needed. The other half of the whites are cool fermented and short aged in stainless steel. We are always experimenting with lees contact for both our red and white wines. The reds are warm fermented then tucked into all Virginia Oak barrels ranging from new to five years old (third use) for generally 18 months with the exception of the long-aged BossaNoVA. The whites are usually filtered for clarity. The reds are racked three times through their elevage and are bottled unfiltered.