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Winemaking Cont...

Our goal is to produce compelling wines with individual character and intensity yet elegant.

Our winemaking starts in the vineyard: over the last 18 years we have partnered with a small collection of select growers in specific vineyards to source fruit to meet our quality and stylistic goals. In each vineyard we collaborate with our growers on specific varieties in specific geographical sites, each identified for its specific combination of soils, aspect, sunlight and temperatures.

Vintage after vintage we work with our growers on the best practices to yield the highest quality grapes we can for that given season. We share common goals, and a work ethic and meticulous attention to detail that satisfies us both. Whether its pruning, thinning, changing the canopy or varying the vine nutrition, we work side by side to get the best results.

Harvest decisions are made by ripeness of fruit, sensory analysis and the weather. From year to year decisions are driven by both flavor and physical maturity. We are looking for the moment where the flavors and balance of the grape hits a maturity level that can support a healthy fermentation.

Once the best clusters are hand picked, pre-sorted and brought to the winery, there are numerous pre-crush analyses. Starting in the lab and finishing with a sensory and visual examination every bin is analyzed and recorded. Every lot of fruit receives this treatment, which becomes the driving force of our crush/fermentation decisions. Using an optical sorter and a winemaker friendly cellar we are able to process our wine 100% by a gravity flow process. This not only reduces the risk of added seed tannin but in general is gentler on the wine.

From start to finish our fermentations are effective and efficient, paying close attention to phenolic (tannin) development and never forgetting that everything we do affects the final product. Our palate is our strongest tool! 

Once our wines are ready for pressing we pull all of the free run wine and lightly press the skins. Not directed by computer programs or volume goals, our press decisions are guided by our palate. By constantly tasting the wine during the press cycle we start these young wines on a healthy pathway to the future. 

Every drop of wine made here is matured only in French oak barrels. The tight grain, supple yet bold tannin notes that come from the forests of central France are the oak characteristics that compliment the fruits we receive from our vineyards. 

From fermentation to barrel and finally to bottle our goal is to stay true to our ideologies. Our sanitation process, the usability of our winery, attention to detail and sensory analysis are a few of the tools we incorporate into our daily routine. Strict winemaking, cellar and lab practices drive our goals of making the best wine we can. The art and science of winemaking is a continuous learning adventure, again we look at the law of cause and effect. We make our decisions based on the science of the lab and the outcomes of what has proven effective. The true balance of winemaking is achieved when science and art collide creating a bottle of wine well worth drinking.

In the Vineyard

Great wines are made in the vineyard not the winery.

We co-farm our own rows and blocks in the most famous vineyards in Washington and work with our growers every step of the way, making every vineyard decision together. In addition we own two of our own vineyards in Walla Walla.

Harvesting & Sorting

From year to year decisions are driven by both flavor and physical maturity, for geeks this is called phenolic ripeness.

Fermentation & Cap Management

Small open top fermenters allow us to see, taste and smell every lot, every day to ensure happy fermentations.  Gental cap management enhances color, tannin and mouthfeel.

Pressing into Barrel

We press gently using a basket press and taste continuously to ensure no over extraction.

Barrel Selection & Racking

Matured in 100% French oak barrels from seven of the top Coopers in the world.  Each barrel is its own wine and we rack and return back into the same barrel using a pain staking gravity process.  

We get to know the quality and character of each barrel over several months before it is even consided to be part of our flagship wines.

Blending

Once the best barrels are selected we spend several months making each wine. We taste five blends at a time double blind, using triple digit random numbers to ensure no bias.

Each flight we select a top wine from the five and then construct another four blends around that for the next tasting.  This process continues for several months until we eventually choose the final wine.

This is the essence of what sets Betz Family apart and why we need to be a limited production winery.

Bottling

We move our wines into tanks one month before bottling. We are able to bottle 2000 cases a day using a mobile bottling line, which plugs directly into our winery.

We age wine in bottle for between 9 to 12 months before release.

Cellaring & Serving

Our wines are built to age for many years, but can be enjoyed upon release.  We suggest that a wine under 5 years of age is double decanted to ensure the aromas and flavor are unleashed for your full enjoyment. 

Our wines should be served at between 62 to 65 degrees F.  In general red wines are drunk too warm and white wines too cold.