The process

Antonio Pasos believes
in old school winemaking

W inemaker Antonio Pasos prefers to use Rhone, Bordeaux and Italian varietals in his wines.

He insists on using only new French and Hungarian oak barrels and believes the flavor of the fruit should never be over run by the wood.

He wants to taste the true character of the grapes. While many wine makers in the Lodi Appellation produce a very ripe style of wine, Antonio's wines are flavorful, elegant and age very well.

"I use high quality, organically grown grapes," Antonio explains. "Our wines impart the true flavors of the vineyards.""

A ntonio produces small-lot wines from a number of varietals and blends. Some of the varietals he uses are Viognier, Chardonnay, Albariño, Charbono, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

Antonio has a wine-making philoosphy involving the use of use native (wild, indigenous, natural, ambient or spontaneous) yeast fermentation.

“I prefer to ferment with native yeast for its unpredictability,” he says. "Working in this environment produces the most compelling expressions of wine.”

Yeast populations are in the air; they can originate in the vineyard or in a cellar. The biggest benefit of wild yeast is complexity—some aromas, flavors and, in particular, textures are unique to this method.