A minimalist approach is taken in producing this wine. The fruit is usually harvested in late September to early October. The grapes are gently crushed, then fermented individually with high temperatures reaching around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Fermentation lasts six or seven days, but juice is kept in skin contact for a minimum of two weeks. The young wine is then pressed and racked to barrel, where it is allowed to age for approximately nine months. Depending on the varietal and vintage, barrel aging is in oak from Oregon and the Eastern United States, Hungary, and France. The Cab Franc, Merlot, and Zinfandel, were aged mainly in American Oak, with 20% new and 80% neutral barrels. The Syrah was aged in about 30% new, 70% neutral barrels, the majority of which were American.
The Cabernet Franc base of this wine was estate-sourced from Silva Vineyard situated on the west bench of Lake County. Fruit from this vineyard is concentrated and complex, growing more so as the vineyard matures. Several varietals are blended with the Cabernet Franc to provide the unique character of Writer's Block. Syrah used in this varietal blend was also sourced from Silva Vineyard. Merlot was sourced from low-yielding vineyards in the Highland Springs area of the county. Fruit from these vineyards is sourced for its varietal character and richness, with most of it typically set aside for our reserve programs. The small amount of Zinfandel is sourced from a fairly young (under 25 years old) Duncan Vineyard located near Mount Konocti, the dormant volcano that dominates the landscape. This vineyard drains well, has excellent exposure, and is situated on soil not overly fertile.