Sourced from prime hillside, benchland and mountain top vineyards in the cool coastal regions of California wine country, Kendall-Jackson white wines make up the heart of our winemaking program.
Learn how white wines are crafted here at Kendall-Jackson.
To obtain rich and flavorful wines, the white grapes are harvested at their optimal ripeness and quickly brought to the winery.
Whole Cluster Pressing
At the winery, whole chardonnay grapes clusters are gently pressed with a bladder press, which inflates a balloon-type device to gently extract the juice. This process can take a few hours, leaving behind harsh tannins from skins, seeds and stems. We believe this method allows the unique fruit qualities to be fully captured and better expressed in the finished wine.
Stainless Steel Tank Fermentation
For our Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, we ferment in stainless steel tanks to retain and enhance their crisp fruit qualities.
Some chardonnays are fermented in stainless steel tanks. However, at Kendall-Jackson we believe that fermenting this noble grape in superior French and American 60-gallon oak barrels creates a complex and more flavorful wine. Barrel fermentation enhances the golden chardonnay colors, adds a creamy texture, and provides subtle toasty oak and spice flavors to the finished wine.
During cellar aging, our chardonnays undergo malolactic fermentation. This process converts acids that have tart flavors (typically found in green apples) to silky, creamy flavors (typically found in milk). This unique process adds a silky, somewhat velvety texture to the finished chardonnay.
Barrel Aging Sur Lie
Our wines age sur lie in the cellars, or "on the yeast", which gives the finished wine a soft, smooth and creamy texture. Once or twice a month, each barrel is carefully hand-stirred by our winemakers.
Throughout the entire process, our winemakers keep each vineyard lot separate allowing the wines to retain their appellation uniqueness. Our winemakers also taste each red wine barrel, patiently waiting for the best time to blend, or layer, these unique flavors together.
Once the wine has been gracefully aged, our winemakers craft the final blend. Using artisan winemaking methods, our winemakers layer the various white varietal flavors and characteristics found in our California coastal vineyards, crafts blend that truly expresses only the finest qualities.
Once blended, the wine finds its final home in our Kendall-Jackson wine bottles, ready for shipment to your favorite restaurant or store or our tasting room. After months of hand-caring and crafting, we pay particular attention to the bottling process to ensure the flavors and aromas found in our cellars arrive in perfect condition.