Note: this information applies to the practices we employed in the making of Clos Pepe Estate wines which are currently available. Feel free to contact Hall/Walt folks for information about current practices.
There were no secrets at Clos Pepe. We didn't hide our cultural practices, yields, harvest chemistry or our winemaking methods. We believed that the combination of climate, people and dirt combine to make a quality of fruit and wine that is perfectly unique and impossible to reproduce.
Great wine is about place, but without the hard work and planning of our crew and staff, Clos Pepe would have been a hillside covered with weeds, grasses and a few flowers. So there was some 'magic' to the way we farmed, but it is more like taking the tarnish off of a silver chalice than building the chalice itself.
In the most basic sense, these Were our goals:
ONE: To prune the vines to produce a balanced crop.
TWO: Encourage a healthy, diverse vineyard environment and policies that guarantee a healthy farm.
THREE: Promote soil health by cover crop, composting and fertilization, but only enough to make the vines able to support a small crop.
FOUR: Keep mildew and botrytis from destroying the crop. We believed that organic practices that help improve our wine were worth implementing, but we did not believe in organic for organic's sake, nor did we practice Biodynamics.
FIVE: Farm like winemakers. Some grape farmers don't drink wine. We do. Lots of it. From all over the world. We farmed the way we did to produce some of the finest Pinot Noir wine and Chardonnay wine in the world. That was our goal.