Technique

Crafting Chardonnay: Tips from the Pros

There are many different techniques and styles to choose from when it comes to Chardonnay. Do you want a buttery, barrel-aged Chardonnay or a crisp, acidic one? When weighing your options, use this advice from two Chardonnay experts. Winemaker: Kristen Barnhisel,  J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, California Our Chardonnay is largely sourced from the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands AVAs in California. All three of our Chardonnays — the Riverstone, the October Night, and the Arroyo Vista — are partially put through malolactic fermentation (MLF) in barrel. We add malolactic bacteria to most of our Chardonnay lots. Some of our vineyards exhibit bright aromatics and good texture upfront, such that we don’t need them to go through malolactic fermentation to get the balance that we hope to achieve. However, many of our wines benefit from the added texture that malolactic fermentation gives. The bacteria is added one day after the yeast is added, as a co-inoculation. This ensures that the yeast have a chance to firmly start fermentation before the bacteria start to grow. Co-inoculation of yeast and bacteria