Furvum, Latin for dark, references the richness of our 2017 Nebbiolo but also references the style in which this wine was made. We ferment and age this wine, using terra cotta pots (also known as amphorae), which is an ancient winemaking method dating back nearly 6,000 years!
Furvum, made in Amphorae, is a Red Wine made from Nebbiolo grapes. There is not much Nebbiolo grown in Sonoma but we have two small pockets, one in Carneros at our 5 Sisters ranch and the other at Catapult Ranch in the Petaluma Gap across the hill. Both sites are at the foot of Wildcat Mountain just one on the East and one on West, both have clay loam soils, are influenced by the fog from the San Francisco Bay, however, the Carneros ranch has far less wind, much more heat and ripens about three weeks earlier. The Petaluma Gap vineyard is exposed to much more wind, crops slightly heavier, and is among our last picks of the year. Both sites are very expressive of Nebbiolo and give the wine body, ripeness, and acidity. In 2017, the fruit was selected primarily from our 5 sisters Vineyard. The 2017 season was definitely an interesting one - the fires within wine country started right as we were picking these grapes, thankfully we were able to bring the fruit in before any smoke could damage the crop. The crop was light, permitting good sunlight for ripening balanced by exposures that lengthened hang time gifting us with concentrated grapes at peak ripeness.
The grapes are picked at first light and bought to the winery where the grapes are destemmed and go directly to amphoras for fermentation on skins. The amphoras are fantastic fermentation vessels, mimicking our low intervention vineyard approach with a low intervention winery approach. The amphoras have no temperature control and fermentation begins naturally and peaks at about 75F. The berries are punched down twice a day and after two weeks we press the juice off the berries and then put the juice back into the amphoras for a further 6 months of aging. The juice takes about a month to ferment and after that, we rack it off the solids and put it back into amphoras for another 6 months of aging. After aging in amphoras the best amphoras are blended and transferred to a barrel for oak aging for 15 months with 40% new French oak. After 15 months the wine was blended and bottled. Minimal sulfur is used and no fining. We filter the wine immediately prior to bottling for clarity.