Single vineyard wines crafted by the alchemy of ocean, fog, soil and patience.
At Knez Winery, we believe that the deeper and more extensive our knowledge, the better our wine will be. We start with an Anderson Valley location that is epic in its richness—with maritime influences, complex soil, a near perfect amount of sun exposure and heritage clones like Martini, Pommard, David Bruce, Wädenswil and Wente. To this, we add the beauty of science—detailed analytics and painstaking research that help us make the most of our land’s bounty. We consider ourselves stewards of the land and our farming practices are sustainable and progressive. In our winemaking, we are hands-on in the vineyard and hands-off in the barrel room. Through careful stewardship of our land and attention to detail in every phase of winemaking, we are producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir every bit as complex, expressive and ageworthy as our compatriots in Burgundy, France.
A NOTE ABOUT 2014
2014 will be marked as one of the most intriguing vintages in recent memory. Temperatures during the winter were a bit warmer than normal while there was no measurable rain, which is usually a common denominator for winter. Soils warmed early and as a result, budbreak was also early. Growers were graciously surprised to see the vines set a very generous crop in the third year of a drought cycle and following the abundant vintages of 2012 and 2013. Warm weather continued throughout the year in most spots. Knez Vineyards experience little or no problems with persistent fog and the humid conditions some growers experienced with sites closer to the ocean. The mild growing season led to a harvest that was several weeks ahead of schedule.
The naturally occurring low yields in 2014, along with less juice per ton than recent vintages such as 2012 and 2013, combined to produce unusually rich wines. At Knez Winery, the sugars were quite modest and long fermentations gave the wines their intense flavors and rich textures.
A NOTE ABOUT 2013
From the start of the new year, we entered into the 2nd year of a four year drought in California. We also began to see the precociousness of the 2013 vintage. With a dry and relatively warm winter and spring, budbreak started about a week earlier than normal. A quick and consistent flowering of the baby clusters followed right into an early harvest.
Unlike 2012, we saw a bit of cooling and more consistent but light precipitation in the summer of 2013. However, with two years of dry weather, signs of stress limited berry and cluster size much more than in 2012. Yields per acre ended up the same, but a major difference was a more solid, thicker skin and less juice in 2013. With this in mind mostly whole cluster fermentations seemed appropriate.
The result is wines of amazing vibrancy, perfumed aromatics and a elegant but piercing inner mouth depth. While still tight from recent bottling, the 2013 wines show a delicious completeness that is hard to resist.
A NOTE ABOUT 2012
Like all vintages, the 2012 season began in the late fall of 2011 moving into winter 2012 with powerful storms that dumped heavy rainfall in the North Coast, especially in Anderson Valley. This rain invigorated the soil with moisture and nutrients essential to vine health.
The wet weather was followed by a warm and dry spring; and early summer insured perfect flowering and grape set. Warm temperatures and dryness continued throughout the summer. These nearly perfect conditions guaranteed a large, powerfully constituted crop. And once harvest begun, we knew the 2012 vintage was going to be special.
Our 2012 Knez wines are robust, complex and structured for aging. They show deliciousness and focus, yet with some air remain fresh and lively. These wines are easily appreciated now, but with much more to give in the future.
A NOTE ABOUT 2011
The 2011 vintage, with its challenging cool, wet weather, has offered us grapes of character and ripeness that fit naturally into our vision of what is ideal: lowish, balanced alcohols with detailed flavors and structure that reflect a classic, beautiful, delicious character in the wines we strive to craft.
“A long cool growing season contributed to an overall high level of flavor concentration with moderately restrained ripening, lending to a bright and elegant balance of fruit, acid, and tannin. A reflection of a true ‘Cool Climate California Vintage,’ which may very well surpass previous vintages of the past decade in Anderson Valley.” -Winemaker, Anthony Filiberti
A NOTE ABOUT 2010
The 2010 growing season at the Knez vineyards in Anderson Valley, in general, was one of the coolest of the last decade. Spring was historically wet and cool well into early June during our flowering. The moisture diminished the number of flowers that were able to fertilize. This limited the yield and lengthened the time of flowering, creating uneven ripeness in the clusters. The less-ripe clusters were dropped in the summer, making an even smaller yield with estate averages at 1.5 tons per acre, much like the 2011 vintage. Throughout the summer cool weather persisted. It wasn’t until a short heat wave at the end of August and early September that we saw temperatures get to the low 80s. After the first week of September temperatures cooled again, and moisture increased without any real precipitation until the third week of October, allowing for extended hang time and flavor development but with very low sugars. Most blocks came in between 21.5 and 22.8 brix with very bright acids. Overall the weather has helped to create bright, sappy, red fruits and structure in the Pinots. The Demuth Chardonnay is detailed and intense but still a refined middle weight that will age for years to come. Aside from the low yields, we could not be happier with the character and quality of the 2010 wines, our second vintage.
A NOTE ABOUT 2009
The 2009 growing season led off with a mild spring accompanied by small amounts of frost and rain, limiting potential yields. Mild, dry temperatures throughout the summer allowed for consistent flowering and smaller berries with a strong focus on cluster development. September began with a short heat spike that sped up ripening and concentrated the solids in the clusters, then cooled down enough to allow us to harvest slowly as each block reached maturity. Overall, the mild, low-yielding season gave us wines of intense concentration and fruit, yet with enough structure to focus the flavors and reward cellaring.