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About the Vines

“The Vineyards” is more than a name. In between the restaurants and retailers on property, you can find rows and rows of grape-producing vines. Before we opened in 2019, we worked with a local vintner partner to strategically plant our functioning vineyard. The vines were placed based on soil and access to sunshine. After three years of cultivation, we produced over 2,200 pounds of grapes in our first year.

The Vineyards at Porter Ranch are planted with approximately 850 total vines of two different grape varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. On the south end of The Vineyards near Kaiser Permanente, you’ll see Syrah vines. These grapes have a very robust and earthy taste with hints of strawberry. On the rest of the property, you’ll find our gorgeous red Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which is light with medium tannins. For our first harvest, we combined the two to produce a high quality 50/50 red blend. We can’t wait to pour Porter Ranch a glass!

From Vine to Wine

Winemaking is an extraordinary process of time, precision and science to create the best wines possible from the best grapes possible. As a result, a large focus of our winemaking process is centered around the health and growth of our vines. Since vines need to establish root systems and acclimate to the weather and soil conditions, it takes several seasons of growth before flavorful wine can be produced.

The first step in the winemaking process is “bud break”, in which the vines wake up from dormancy and begin to grow again, announcing the beginning of the growing season. As the vines continue to grow, the canes are trained into the trellising wires and the grapes begin to form. The grapes form little pods that go through "flowering". This is when the young grape clusters flower and cross pollinate into the next phase of the growing process called "fruit set". After this process is complete the grapes begin to form as tiny green grape clusters. At this time, the workers come through the vines and do fruit thinning to select only the best fruit that is in the best position for ripening. The Vineyard workers also thin-out the leaves around the grape clusters to allow for airflow and the sun to penetrate the canopy to aid in the ripening process. As the growing season continues and the grapes continue to ripen, they eventually turn from bright green to red and the berries begin to soften. This process has called "veraison" and it is a very exciting time because it’s at this point that the grape clusters begin to develop sugar in preparation for the harvest.

During the season, workers continue canopy management to keep the vines trained up into the trellising wires in preparation for the application of the bird netting. Bird netting is now put over the vines to protect the fruit as it becomes very attractive to birds at this point. As the grapes continues to ripen, they are test them for sugar content. When the sugar content reaches an optimum level between 24% and 26%, it is time to harvest.

Our experts separate and pick the ripest grapes on site at The Vineyards before transporting them back to the winery in Westlake Village. Once at the winery, our grapes go through a hard press extraction method, which gives our wine a great body, balanced structure and the ability to age well. They then introduce yeast to digest the grape sugars and develop carbon dioxide and alcohol. The vintner then blends the wine before transferring it into barrels. During the fermentation process, the tannins from the pips and skins of the grapes help to determine the aging of the wine. After the wine ferments, the bottling process can begin.

Back at the Vineyards, the process of "die back" on the harvested vines sets in, where all the leaves begin to die and drop off. They will become dormant for a well-deserved rest period to recuperate and reenergize until mid-winter when they are pruned in early January. A few months later, the cycle begins and away we grow again.

In our first harvest in the summer of 2022, we produced two barrels (or 600 bottles) of wine. Each year, as our vines grow stronger, we’ll be able to produce more wine with even more refined flavors

Meet the Winemaker

B. Alan Geddes is an award-winning winemaker and local Viticulture and Enology consultant who started making wine almost three decades ago. Certified through his studies at the renowned University of California, Davis, Geddes became a California State Commercial Wine Judge, traveling all across the state tasting the best wines the state has to offer. His specialty is in micro-boutique, high-quality wines made from 100% locally grown vineyards.