Surrounded by lush vineyards, the McManis Family Vineyards (MFV) winery is located on a 40-acre site near the town of Ripon, in California’s abundant northern interior. Constructed in 1998, the large-capacity winery is dedicated to producing high quality wines with “small winery” methods.
As grapes arrive at the winery, they are introduced to two state-of-the-art grape receiving stations outfitted with Delta Stemmer-Crushers and Bucher presses; the receiving hoppers are equipped with mechanisms designed to slow the intake of grapes, gently handling the incoming fruit. All grapes for McManis Family Vineyards are received at the Ripon facility where our winemaker ensures proper care of the fruit—a necessity for producing quality wines.
Considered “petite” compared to the size of other facilities in the area, the winery is designed for small lot wine production, though it maintains an extensive stainless steel fermentation and storage capacity. The majority of the tanks are designed to ferment 50 ton lots of red wine each, and there are several smaller tanks available for blending, fermenting, and oak integration. Total production for the winery is 400,000 cases: 75 percent red wines and 25 percent white wines.
Preferring a strategic partnership with a vendor rather than owning and maintaining an in-house bottling line, all packaging services for McManis Family Vineyard wines are accomplished by a mobile bottling vendor with whom the winery has had a long-term “family” relationship.
Mike Robustelli is responsible for all winery operations on a daily basis and for leading the winemaking team on all the McManis Family Vineyard wine programs.
In addition to the fruit sourced from over 2,600 acres owned and farmed by McManis Family Vineyards, the winery purchases approximately 25-30 percent of the grapes for MFV wine production from long-term growers in favored growing regions. This practice allows the winemakers to “pick and choose” with respect to varietal selection, flavor profiles, and blending. In addition, the winery continues to invest in vineyard property in preferred appellations, e.g., Lodi, and has an aggressive plan for planting several varietals, to provide additional fruit for McManis Family Vineyards wines.
Favoring flexibility for the winemaking program, McManis Family Vineyards does not identify its wines with “estate” labeling although the MFV Chardonnay and Barbera wines currently meet the criteria. MFV believes that the “estate” designation is restrictive; although there is a possibility the winery will produce limited release wines and vineyard designated wines in certain vintages.
Red Wine Program
All red grape varieties for McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Malbec, Barbera, and Jack Tone Red Blend, are harvested mid-day to provide a robust start to fermentation at warmer temperatures. Introduced to oak through a proprietary process, the resulting red ‘must’ receives 7-9 days of fermentation in stainless steel, is pressed off, and then moved to a second tank to complete fermentation. Red wines complete both alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentations.
McManis Family Vineyards winemakers practice micro-oxygenation of MFV red wines, preferring the procedure to a barrel-aging program that carries inherent challenges such as management and higher costs. Micro-oxygenation also allows easier access to the wines, making it possible for winemakers to taste development on a more regular basis.
Red wines are bottled approximately 10-12 months after harvest.
White Wine Program
All white grape varieties for McManis Family Vineyards Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, and Jack Tone White Blend, are harvested in cool night temperatures to ensure the fruit arrives cold at the winery. The grapes are crushed as soon as they arrive and are immediately pressed; the juice is allowed to settle overnight and then it is racked and fermented cold until dry.
MFV Chardonnay is fermented on oak in the form of tank staves; a small amount of the wine is allowed to complete malo-lactic fermentation, contributing to the complexity and varietal expression of the finished wine.
The grapes for MFV Viognier are harvested at higher than normal brix levels, allowing for riper fruit with wonderful fruit components of sweet pear and honey, adding to the varietal expression of the finished wine.