The shallow clay loam soils of Bouchaine are perfectly suited for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
These soils force the vines to dig deep for water, promoting depth and concentration as the roots struggle to penetrate the ribbons of obsidian, quartz, clay and volcanic deposits. Of Bouchaine’s 87 planted acres, 31 are dedicated to Chardonnay, 46 to Pinot Noir, with the remaining 10 devoted to Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Syrah.
Vineyard blocks are planted with different sun exposures and pruning techniques based on topography, to optimize air circulation and ripening. Our high-touch, precision viticulture is managed by an all-female vineyard crew that performs every aspect of the growing process entirely by hand. That includes pruning, positioning shoots, thinning clusters and applying compost, which provides a natural source of rich nutrients for the soil.
At Bouchaine Vineyards, we practice sustainable pest management. We have a vast array of raptor and bluebird boxes to host these nemeses of rodents and insects. Pheromone traps are also used to disrupt mating rituals of bugs. We are also sensitive to the lay of the land, maintaining a natural water flow by removing vines.
Our practices result in a winery ripe with diverse wines from which we create our signature bottlings.
When to pick our vineyard blocks is the most critical decision we make each harvest. Each individual block ripens at different times based on the rootstock, clone, vine age, and aspect to the sun. We walk each block multiple times a week tasting berries, collecting clusters for juice chemistry, and evaluating canopy health. When the flavors and chemistry align we call the pick and are off to the races!
The entire vineyard is hand picked at night so fruit arrives on the crush pad cold and intact. Any fruit with imperfections is immediately sorted out. Fine wine starts in the vineyard and we are committed to growing and harvesting the highest quality fruit possible.
Our wines tell a story. Each bottle is a narrative of not only the vintage and the land, but of the people who whole-heartedly work together to craft our wines.
We want to share with you our story to trigger something inside of you. The bottle of wine may be gone, but the experience and memory can last forever. We invite you to make Bouchaine a part of your memories.
Great wines are grown, not made.
This is the driving idea behind Bouchaine’s winemaking. Wild yeast fermentation, minimal extraction, non-intervention winemaking — we allow the vines to speak for themselves.
We view every harvest, every barrel and every bottle as a unique opportunity to create wines of extraordinary character and quality.
To achieve this goal, our winemaking team works hard to stay current on the latest developments and technologies, while staying true to the time-honored techniques that ensure the preservation of the character of the region and the fruit.
From our Chardonnays to our all-consuming love affair with all things Pinot, we believe our job is to work hand-in-hand with the elements to cultivate wines of exceptional expression and depth.
As the Copelands say,
“You don’t make Pinot. You coax it. Draw it out. Then you discover its nature. It’s a process based on faith, forbearance and trust.”
The Carneros region is perceptibly cooler than the rest of Napa Valley.
Due to Bouchaine’s diverse topography and the cooling influence from nearby San Pablo Bay, the vineyard encompasses almost 20 distinct microclimates. On most afternoons, the Carneros winds sweep across the hills, and on most evenings, fog rolls in off the Bay.
These weather influences create wide temperature fluctuations — from 45°F on chilly nights to 85°F on sunny days — which contribute to the bright acidity and structure of our wines.