East of the city of Napa, at the base of the Vaca Mountains that define the eastern border of the much-venerated valley, lies an area known as Coombsville, where you'll find the 20-acre Dolce Vineyard.
Here, conditions are exactly right to produce Dolce, a late harvest wine unique among its peers crafted from a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc varietal wine grapes — along with a lot of careful stewardship and a little help from Mother Nature. The resulting wine is at once familiar and new to late harvest connoisseurs, a citrusy and floral flavor that calls to mind key lime pie with its creamy, smooth body and baking spice finish.
Each vintage of Dolce demands specific conditions within the soil, microclimate, and vegetation to allow the development of botrytis cinerea, better known as noble rot, to prosper throughout the crop. The production of Dolce each year is dependent on the arrival of botrytis in the vineyard. Further complicating matters, it is only under very specific weather conditions that this noble rot is capable of transforming the grapes on the vine.
A combination of high humidity, followed by dry heat encourages the botrytis to grow and spread, where it slowly dehydrates the fruit while concentrating the sugars and richness within. It is only then that we harvest the fruits, a process that lasts not days, as with other wine types, but weeks or even months. This is because we meticulously comb our vineyard many, many times over several weeks, picking only the individual grapes that are unblighted and at peak maturity — sometimes resulting in only one grape at a time being selected from a bunch, while the rest are left to continue developing.
The resulting wine is intensely concentrated, richly unctuous across the palate, with a luscious sweetness that makes such painstaking care and effort more than worth it.