I have been supervising the vineyard operations and making the Palladian wine since the 2002 vintage.
During that time I have farmed by Organic standards and have used little to no sulfur in the vineyard. The vineyard is very closely spaced and all operations are completed by hand. Not even a small tractor will fit down these rows. This vineyard and winery are the smallest true estate winery (everything is completed on the property). The grapes planted and the final blend in the wine is 85% Cabernet and 15% Cabernet Franc.
The style of Cabernet that is produced at Palladian is intended to be closer to the alcohol levels found in the best wines of Italy and France instead of the over-extracted 15.9 cabs too often made in Napa Valley. The grapes are picked from ripeness about 25 brix, however through natural techniques, alcohol is deliberately lost during primary fermentation and barrel aging in a 100% humidity cave. The final alcohol levels at bottling is under 14%. The 2012 is 13.7% alcohol with full flavor, silky tannins, good acidity, and long slow development.
Fermentation happens in small open top fermenter. The wine is punched down several times a day and not pumped so that no seeds are broken. Pressing is done in a custom press at gentle pressures for a long time. Free run and pressed wine are moved to one of three aging containers at 55 degrees for, at least, three years additional years of bottling development before release.
-David Mahaffey, Winemaker