2016 Sweet Orange Muscat


'Douce Amie' is an Old French term literally meaning 'Sweet Friend,' but connoting a sweetheart or lover. This is one of our best-loved wines, delicately sweet, and full of floral, fruity aromatics.

Orange Muscat is one of the rarest of the Muscat family, with just over 100 acres planted in the whole of California. It has a definite spicy citrus character about it, the Orange Muscat is probably named not for the citrus fruit, but for the French city of Orange, in Provence, where this variety likely originated.

In producing Douce Amie, we try to preserve the character of the fruit, making sure that the finished wine will taste as much like the grapes that we started with as possible. We whole-cluster press to minimize bitterness, and cold-settle the juice for several days before fermentation. We ferment slowly, with low-vigor yeast strains, at very cool temperatures in a stainless steel tank to preserve fruit flavors. When the wine approaches the desired level of sweetness, we abruptly drop the temperature to near freezing, making the yeast inactive, and causing them to settle out at the bottom of the tank. Finally, we filter the wine and bottle it very young, capturing all of the delicate fruitiness of the wine.