Burgess Cellars is a hillside winery, therefore vineyard management has to be specialized to suit the rugged terrain. With Steve and James knowledge of the property from a lifetime of growing up here, paired with vineyard staff who have been working the vineyards for decades, there is a long history and in-depth knowledge to guide us. This land is known intimately and we never stop learning. This drives us to find new vineyard and winemaking techniques, to build on those we hold dear. All of this helps us make the right decisions for the future of the winery.

Our promise to you is to provide the truest expression of this unique terroir. Let us share some of the techniques that are being used today, that help to craft the wines of distinction for which Burgess Cellars is recognized.
There are 21 vineyard blocks to tend, all at different elevations, slopes and positions to the sun. Each has unique characteristics to be considered based on their row orientation, amount of exposure to the sun and nutrients provided by their soil type. Individual plans are created for each block versus a one-size-fits-all approach.

On the hillside, days are warm and nights are cool. Summer days may be 95° with nights down to 55°. This large diurnal swing allows the grapes to ripen in a balanced way. The warm temperatures help to foster sugar and flavor development, and the cool nights help to preserve aromas, freshness and acidity. Kelly is in the vineyards monitoring the grapes and chooses when to pick based on tasting field samples and confirming that with an analysis back in the lab.

Small lot fermentations are aged separately, which allows for using different methods to find the best expression for the grapes. This can include using a diversity of yeast strains, extended macerations, varied fermentation temperatures and specific barrels for different blocks. All of this provides a wider selection of options from which we can handcraft the perfect final wine that goes into each bottle of Burgess.

For our hillside grapes, we carefully select barrels to enhance their unique characteristics. Barrel character depends on the forest selection, thickness of the staves, grain openness factor, toasting method and percentage of barrel toasted.