From the Winemaker

a hand holding a bunch of dark purple grapes

Welcome to the Winemaker’s Corner

We are pleased to announced a new addition to our wine making team! Ryan Michael O'Tierney has joined us as protege to Robert Bertheau at Melody Lynne. Ryan is second generation in the wine field with experience in vineyard, wine bar and recently working in the winery at Melody Lynne. He brings knowedge, enthusiasm and a great work atitiude while also attending studies at WSU and South Seattle College in the wine making and Somm program. We are very pleased to have Ryan join us in a official capacity. Come meet Ryan at our tassting events and when not working in the winery at our wines bars. He is a great addition to our team!

Current Featured Wine:
Blanc de Cabernet Franc!

When people think of Cabernet franc, they picture the earthy, deep red wine that serves as half of the parentage to the infamous Cabernet Sauvignon. And they’re right! But we love Cabernet Franc so much we decided to turn it into a white wine as well!

You can actually visit our tasting rooms and see how different this varietal can taste as a red, a white, AND a rose!

As a white wine it still retains all of the earthy notes and subtle pyrazine vegetative flavors that make us love it so much but without the bitter tannins. A smooth and calm wine, it is a very pleasant and easy to drink wine perfect for the patio this summer. Lemon and honey notes make this wine a perfect choice for chicken or salmon dishes.

Three bottles of Melody Lynne Blanc de Cabernet Franc

Winemaking 101

Since our featured wine showcases the endless opportunities available once the grape leaves the vineyard why don’t we talk about how skin contact affects the winemaking process? The color of a finished wine is directly related to how much contact the juice has with the skin of the grapes.

All grapes have white juice and need skin contact to turn the desired color. Where it gets tricky, is that not all red grapes make red wine. Pinot Gris, for example, is a white wine made from red grapes. The skins are merely pressed and removed immediately to prevent any color staining. Our Feature wine is another example.

By taking a normally red wine grape like a Cabernet Franc and preventing skin contact, we are able to create an entirely new white wine which is called Blanc de Cabernet Franc – or White Cab Franc.

Any grape can make a white wine, but only a red grape can make a red wine, unfortunately. However, there are instances of fermenting Chardonnay with it’s skins to increase color and making what we call “Orange” wine. This is often seen in the natural wine category and is quite tasty. I know, what you’re thinking, “What about Rose?” And the answer is still skin contact.

A Rose can be made in a few different ways, but the most common way is to leaves the skins on the juice for a little bit to impart just a touch of color and then press them off. The amount of time directly relates the desired final color. A delicate blush will have significantly shorter skin contact than a vibrant, saturated fuchsia. But the timing is often only a matter of hours. With red wines on the other hand, skins are left for the entirety of the fermentation to extract as much color as possible. Depending on the varietal this can mean a week or more!