This may be a bit overwhelming, but I believe that there are two things that define what ends up in your glass.
The first definitive element is the vineyard. The location, clones, climate, and the vineyard steward's expertise establish the potential for what is possible. Described as terroir, the combination of all of these factors define the unique "flavor of place."
My roll as winemaker starts with an evaluation of what's possible. All winemaking decisions are then made to accentuate the unique expression of the vineyard.
It sounds simple, but, there is much more to it.
We are blessed to source grapes from the finest vineyards in California. This sounds a little too 'marketing buzwordy' so I'll explain. To oversimplify, there are basically two types of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (I know - this is ridiculous but stay with me here). In fact, you could divide all wines into two categories. There are the Instant Gratification wines and the more Age-worthy and Complex wines. At La Rochelle, we focus on the latter.