At La Crema we have dedicated more than 30 years to exploring the many expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California and Oregon’s finest winegrowing regions:
- Willamette Valley
- Anderson Valley
- Sonoma Coast
- Russian River
- Los Carneros
- Arroyo Seco
Naturally, our winemaking team seeks to express the essence of the terroir in our wines, capturing the unique personality and flavor profile of the vineyards. Craig McAllister infuses our winemaking regime with a highly personal touch that combines the best of traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques with a contemporary California style. In every bottle of La Crema there's an elegance that comes from the careful attention paid by Head Winemaker Craig McAllister and his team, from the first bud break all the way through bottling. We believe gentle handling is key to preserving the beautiful complexity of the grapes, so we’re meticulous in our approach.
Ready to harvest
When is a grape ready to harvest? Some statistics (like Brix, a measure of the sugar content of the grape) can help a winemaker “call the pick,” but nothing compares to actually tasting the grapes. Throughout the season, Craig and his team are in the vineyards daily, looking for complex flavors in the grapes, and also tasting the seeds, which change from green to brown as they ripen, and develop a biscuity flavor.
When Chardonnay arrives at the winery, the grapes move via conveyor belt to the press. To best capture the fresh fruit character, we gently compress whole clusters, which minimizes any bitter compounds from the skins, seeds or stems.
Pinot Noir Winemaking
Pinot Noir grapes are hand-sorted at the winery. Any clusters with green or overripe grapes are removed, along with any stems, leaves, or other “MOG” (material other than grapes). Clusters move by conveyor belt to a destemmer, which separates grapes from the stems.
(Source: La Crema USA)