HALL Winemaking: Barrel Aging
At HALL, we use only the finest French oak barrels sourced from a number of select coopers. Each vineyard, based on its individual character, is assigned specific cooperages, particular toast levels, and barrel aging durations. We encourage native malolactic (secondary) fermentation to progress slowly once the wine is in barrel to allow the sweet oak spice and wood tannin to marry with the wine.
We avoid racking—the process of draining the wine off its lees (dead yeast cells) and transferring it to a clean barrel—as it tires the wine and simply serves as a correction process for textural imbalances. Instead, we prefer to get the texture right in the vineyard, on the sorting tables, and in the fermentation tanks. The newborn wine in barrel is left to age as individual vineyard lots from 16–28 months. The lees protect the wine from oxidation, provide nourishment during malolactic fermentation, and promote layers of rich, supple tannins as it evolves.