OUR PROCESS

THE ART OF WINEMAKING

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF WINEMAKING

Many factors contribute to the characteristics we present in each bottle — the subtle changes in weather, time on the vine, style of fermentation, age and type of the barrels, blending . . . there are so many variable.

To explore these differences yourself, consider purchasing a few bottles of our Library Wines.

Nevertheless, the winemaking process, dating back over 6,000 years, holds a romantic appeal — a merging of art and science. The following chart outlines the very basics of the process.

If you prefer to watch the process of winemaking, a series of short video clips can be found here.

Winemaking Steps

To view the flowchart on your mobile device, please use landscape mode.

HARVESTING

Gathering Grapes

Our grapes are sourced from local growers throughout Sonoma County. We partner with family-owned grape growers in Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and Knights Valley to select the highest quality grape for each varietal.

SORTING & DESTEMMING

Destemming Grape Clusters

At each step in our winemaking process, we strive to minimize our environmental impact. We turn our discarded stems into compost. After carefully removing the stems - destemming - the grapes are gently added to a fermentation tank.

CRUSHING

Releasing the Juice

Red wine grapes are destemmed and fermented with their skins to help develop the color of the wine. After destemming grapes for our white wines, we move to pressing (before fermentation).

wine fermentation

FERMENTATION

Turning Juice into Wine

Alcohol and carbon dioxide are produced from the yeast feeding on the sugars of grapes. Here we have a peek inside the barrel of our chardonnay during fermentation.

PRESSING

Straining the Skin

After fermentation, red wine skins are pressed, settled and barreled down before aging. The extended contact with the grape skins is part of what provides red wine its deep, lovely color.

AGING

BARREL AGING

As the wines age, barrels instill subtle flavor in a protective environment. Different types of oak barrels provide different qualities to each wine. thumbprint wines are typically aged 24-36 months in an array of new and once-filled French and American oak barrels.

BOTTLING

Bottling & Packaging

Bottling is the last chance to mitigate last-second issues. Having our own bottling line allows us to protect the winemaking process from grape to bottle and assures total control of our high-quality wines.

SHIPPING

Shipping & Selling

Delivering our artisan wines for your enjoyment is the best part of the process! Visit our Tasting Lounge to sample thumbprints' wines, or join our Wine Club to receive quarterly shipments of your favorites. Prefer to try a bottle before committing to a long-term relationship? We get it — and we're confident this won't be a one-night stand. Shop online to taste for yourself!

PREFER TO WATCH THE PROCESS?

Click for Video Clips

HARVESTING

GATHERING GRAPES

Our grapes are sourced from local growers throughout Sonoma County. We partner with family-owned grape growers in Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and Knights Valley, to select the highest quality grape for each varietal.

SORTING & DESTEMMING

DESTEMMING GRAPE CLUSTERS

At each step in our winemaking process, we strive to minimize our environmental impact. We turn our discarded stems into compost. After carefully removing the stems – destemming – the grapes are gently added to a fermentation tank.

CRUSHING

STOMPING THE GRAPES

Red wine grapes are destemmed and fermented with their skins to help develop the color of the wine. After destemming grapes for our white wines, we move to pressing (before fermentation).

FERMENTATION

JUICE TO WINE

This Chardonnay is in the full swing of fermentation. Yeast feeds on the grape sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (the bubbles) and a delicious aroma!

PRESSING

PUNCHDOWN

After fermentation, red wines are pressed before aging. The extended contact with the grape skins is part of what provides red wine its deep, lovely color.

AGING

THE MAGIC OF TIME

As the wines age, barrels instill subtle flavor in a protective environment. Different types of oak barrels provide different qualities to each wine. thumbprint wines are typically aged 24-36 months in an array of new and once-filled French and American oak barrels.

Rather than show you a video clip of wine aging in closed barrels (which has all the excitement of watching paint dry), check out Scott Lindstrom-Dake, thumbprint owner and winemaker, as he defies the aging process.

BOTTLING

BOTTLING & PACKAGING

Bottling is the last chance to mitigate last-second issues. Having our own bottling line allows us to protect the winemaking process from grape to bottle and assures total control of our high-quality wines. To learn more about our sustainability practices, visit Our Footprint.

SHIPPING

SHIPPING AND SELLING

Delivering our artisan wines for your enjoyment is the best part of the process! Visit our Tasting Lounge to sample thumbprints’ wines, or join our Wine Club to receive quarterly shipments of your favorites. Prefer to try a bottle before committing to a long-term relationship? We get it — and we’re confident this won’t be a one-night stand. Shop online to taste for yourself!

BROWSE OUR WINES!

Browse our selection of single varietal and blended artisan wines.