Ask any wine lover to reel off a list of the world’s most famous wine regions, and rarely will they fail to mention Saint-Émilion or Napa Valley. Team JCP Maltus prides itself in making seriously fine wines on two continents with impressively contrasting styles. The terroirs of the estates Château Teyssier and World’s End are amongst the world’s most prestigious, but to truly tap the potential of the land requires a huge amount of respect, understanding and a special bond between man and nature.
It’s this cultural respect for terroir and the ‘French touch’ that Jonathan and his team have so carefully brought over to Napa Valley, revealing in the wines the wonderful diversity of this beautiful landscape.
To maintain these precious terroirs is a round-the-clock job, every day of the year. From pruning the vines on a bleak, frosty winter’s day to getting up at the crack of dawn to harvest the grapes, there’s never a dull moment and always plenty to be getting along with! The vineyard takes a huge amount of care but the fact that as soon as one harvest is in the vats we’re already preparing the next is proof of our dedication to the work we do.
Since the beginning, we’ve not just simply thought about the vintage at hand but also the effect of everything we do on future vintages. Every relationship requires continuous attention to make it last, and ours with nature is no different! We work sustainably with a conscious respect for the beautiful environment around us, thinking ahead so as to preserve and protect the efforts of our predecessors for the delight of future generations.
Winemaking doesn’t just start once the grapes are picked. The art extends long beforehand to be sure that the grapes that finally reach optimum maturity are packed with flavour. ‘Green harvesting’ involves cutting back the number of bunches per vine, concentrating all of the sun and earth’s minerals into those that remain. Multiple stages of intense sorting ensures only the most perfect berries go into the vats. Such almost obsessive practices may seem over-the-top but in fact make a noticeable difference to the quality of our wines.
Nature’s role doesn’t end at the harvest. Fermentation itself, although controlled as best we can, occurs with minimal external input and we try and extract colour and structure from the grape skins as gently as possible - leaving the terroir to express itself in full glory. To age the wines, they are left for up to 20 months in the finest barrels money can buy, each chosen for the distinct characteristics found in the wood which adds hints of complex aromas. Each wine is finally blended after many careful repetitions of our favourite natural process - tasting!