Navarro's first Sauvignon Blanc was produced in 1990. Twenty years seems like a long time but in reality it's only twenty opportunities to experiment with this varietal. We are still investigating how to make our Savvy better and our trials have had numerous parameters. This vintage one of our experiments centered on recent research involving yeast strains. Our largest field of Sauvignon was divided into three lots which were fermented using three different strains of yeast. We typically use QA23 for our aromatic whites (Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Muscat) as it enhances aromas through its beta-glucosidase activity in the spring. The 2009 Sauvignon made with this yeast displayed fresh herbs and a steely structure. VL3 is a University of Bordeaux isolate, which is highly rated for Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, and Petite Manseng. This was our favorite yeast in this trial, with fresh herbs, passionfruit and lemon peel.
In the 2009 cuvée we used mostly VL3 with QA23 a close second. X5 is also a University of Bordeaux strain, although it was originally isolated in Alsace. In this trial, it was our least favorite yeast with cooked pear aromas and little was used in the final cuvée. Sixty percent of the wine was fermented and aged in oak to give a rounder mouth-feel and forty percent was fermented in stainless steel to retain herbal freshness. Gold Medal winner.
This year we planted 7.5 acres of Sauvignon Blanc at our Pennyroyal Farm in Boonville. Once the vineyard is laid out, staked for vines and drip irrigation installed, we are ready to plant vines. First, we place a shovelful of compost next to each steel stake so we can plant the vine with a mixture of soil and compost. The second crew digs holes and places the loose dirt next to the compost . Planters then place a dormant vine in the hole and fill in the hole with a mixture of compost and soil. Finally, the vine is covered with a carton to protect it from rabbits and the drip irrigation is turned on for the night.
Protecting the vine.