Why did I decide to travel to Ram’s Gate Winery to do a story on how winemakers and owners choose a wine barrel? In my 11 years in and around the wine industry, people have often asked me about barrels, yet related to the surface details, like whether a winery uses French oak, or 100% new oak, how many months does the wine age in oak, etcetera. Well, there are so many other details involved with barrel selection and how they can be used, it will make your head spin!
So, if your head hasn’t been spun in a while, listen in to my conversation with Joe Nielsen. He’s as smart as he is chill, which allows him to easily change hats from the positions of general manager to winemaker, often several times a day at the south Sonoma winery. Before I get into the barrel discussion, I’ll ask him about a topic that’s new to me, pressure bombs. It’s a technique they use as a means to keep an eye on the health and needs of the vineyard. Yet, as it turns out, the method is not nearly as intense as the name suggests. No explosions occur at Ram’s Gate Winery.
A couple of the wines we discussed
To see the extensive selection of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay among other varietals visit
In my mind and according to my palate, they’re all exceptional