The state-of-the-art winery, designed by world-renowned architect Howard Backen and completed in 2005, combines time-tested techniques with innovative technology. Built into a hillside and contiguous with the caves, the winery features the White Room, named after the Beatles White album, which looks over both the striking tank room on one side, and the breathtaking vineyards and rugged landscape of the Stags Leap District on the other.
Upon early morning arrival at the winery, our grapes are subjected to our rigorous three-tiered sorting process. First, clusters are hand sorted via visual inspection. Then, a cutting-edge Pellenc optical sorting machine selects grapes based upon quality settings established by the winemaker. Finally, remaining berries are subjected to one last hand-sort to ensure that only the best berries make it into the tank.
In order to maintain berry integrity, a unique crane system was installed to gently deliver whole berries to tank for fermentation, allowing for minimal processing of the fruit.
Lede commissioned American tank manufacturer Mueller to recreate distinctive truncated tanks inspired by those at Château Latour, to allow for more skin submersion, resulting in better flavor and color extraction.
Barrels are stored in temperature-controlled caves in the hillside behind the winery, providing an ideal atmosphere for aging and energy savings congruent with our Napa Green Winery certification.
Since 2007, we have used concrete eggs for a portion of Sauvignon Blanc fermentation. In 2010 we worked with Sonoma Cast Stone to create a prototype for an egg with both heating and cooling capabilities with modern fittings. The shape of the egg creates a unique fermentation dynamic that imparts richness to the wine and the natural concrete material enhances the wine’s minerality.