AROMATIC. BALANCED. PURE.

OUR WINE MAKING PROCESS

At Kitzke Family Vineyards our goal is to express Candy Mountain to its fullest potential. This means working overtime in our vineyards without herbicides to produce meticulous fruit and maintain a low impact.  In the cellar we pride ourselves in transparency, letting native yeasts from the vineyard do the fermenting and showcase true terroir without manipulation.

We do not use proteins, tannin additives, or color concentrates in the production of our wines.

BORDEAUX FIELD BLEND The Field blending method involves picking all the varietals used within the wine at one time and fermenting them together from the beginning. This method is unique in an industry chasing perfection year in and year out. The beautiful outcome is a wine that is cohesive on the palate with intense aromatic range and terroir showing first. We wait for all varietals being used to get within a window of ripeness by tasting the fruit everyday and following the development of each varietal to determine our blend. It changes each year but always represents our Candy Ridge Vineyard perfectly.
Aged in 60% - 100% new French Oak depending on the vintage.
JAMISON OLD BLOCK Sourced from our neighbor, the 1982 Jamison Block on Candy Ridge Vineyard is truly unique. Cabernet and Merlot are trained in an old Lyre style system with California Sprawl canopy that displays extreme freshness and natural acidity. The tannin profile is big because of the small yielding clusters but the elegance and depth is what separates this wine from the rest.

Aged in 70%-100% new French Oak depending on the vintage for 18-24 months.
CANDY RIDGE VINEYARD Our original estate block on Candy Ridge Vineyard was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot in 2000. It sits at 800ft elevation on a hard caliche layer with a very slight south slope without basalt bedrock. Due to the pores quality of caliche the amount of water used is very minimal for Washington. This creates natural stress in the vineyard leading to deep roots and distinctive terroir.

These wines are aged in 40% to 70% New French oak for 18-24 months.
SANGIOVESE Planted in 2002, our small block of Sangiovese is trained in lyre style system and faces east. It receives morning sun and is protected from the harsh late afternoon rays. Confined to a very limited quantity this wine is rarely available in the tasting room.
Aged in neutral Large Oak 400L to 500L puncheon for 18-20 months depending on vintage
NEBBIOLO Our soft spot for Italian varietals started with Nebbiolo in 2005. Changing our source over 10 years we have found what we think to be one of the best sites in Washington State for Nebbiolo. Sitting at 1100ft on stoney cobble in the Horse Heaven Hills these vines get great cool nights and protection from extreme warm weather. Made in traditional Barolo methods this wine spends 40 to 45 days on the skins before being pressed off and finishing native malolactic fermentation.
Aged in 500L Puncheon for 20 to 36 months depending on vintage.

Pruning PRUNING Each vintage starts with the cutting of the vines by hand. This will set the position to control growth and manage balance in the vineyard Thining THINNING A process where we removing excess shoots from the vine & control space to influence a desired canopy to fruit ratio. Thining BLOOM This is the flowering of the clusters. Weather is critical from this stage to fruit set & the vineyard emits a beautiful bouquet during this period. Verasion VERAISON This is the turning point in each vine from growth to the focus of ripening. Green clusters turn color and sugar accumulation begins to accelerate in each berry. Green Harvest GREEN HARVEST At about 85% through veraison we cut off clusters that lag in ripeness & these clusters will decompose back into the soil. Harvest HARVEST During this period we are closely monitoring each varietal constantly, then picking when we find the balance of flavor & phenolic ripeness desired. Fermentation FERMENTATION Here the native yeasts from the vineyard ferment sugar to alcohol and we taste every day looking for tannin composition before pressing. Cellar CELLAR We carefully monitor each wine in its desired barrel size and type of oak for 18-24 months before bottling.