What handcrafted means to us.When we say handcrafted wines, it’s not a word we toss around to impress readers on the website or in the tasting room. We believe handcrafted stands for something best defined by actions—both in the vineyard and at the winery.
Work happens on the grapes’ schedule.This requires having enough people ready to work without much notice when the grapes demand. Once they’re off the vine, grapes need to stay cool to retain the bright, ripe flavors that make for the most flavorful, memorable wines. This is why we run three shifts, 7 days per week during harvest. Sometimes we need to weigh in grapes at 3 am and other times it’s a 5 am punchdown. Lots of coffee is a must too!
Process the wine with minimal interference. From fermentation to bottling, the methods we use do not include pumping, filtering or other processes that would unsettle or compromise the quality of the wine. While this may take more time and require more physical effort, we’ve learned over the years to never rush our grapes. Respect the grapes and the wines will always reward your efforts.
Keep a list. We work hard trying to paying attention to the numerous details that go into making the wines as we do—the individual tasks, like punching down tanks or manning the bottling lines. To us, achieving the bigger picture of producing exceptional wines comes down to the small details, each one done to the best of our abilities.
Do everything for the sake of quality. Short cuts only lead to disappointments, and hurrying a delicate process only says you’re not truly committed to your craft. At Williams Selyem, the grapes call the shots and once the harvest is in, we’re all on the wine’s schedule. Each step of the process helps prepare us for the next—from harvest and crush to fermentation and barrel maturation, to finally bottling and release. When you focus on quality throughout the process, you often find yourself without enough wine to satisfy everyone. We consider that the mark of handcrafted wine done right.