winesNone of our wines are pasteurized and chemical additives are used infrequently–and then, in minimum quantities. The winery has a well equipped wine laboratory using modern equipment and techniques to monitor juice and the progress of each wine through all stages of the winemaking process. We use imported bottles for all our wines, which are closed with the finest grade of imported cork and are custom branded with Stonington’s name and logo.
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In 1988, our winery was built into the hillside so that the main winery floor was below grade to maintain stable cellar temperatures. A computer controlled refrigeration system was installed and connected to five interior and three exterior stainless steel fermentation tanks. All stainless steel tanks and piping are insulated to conserve energy consumption. We have 16,000 gallons of stainless fermentation capacity.
For barrel fermentation of Chardonnay and
finishing (aging) of our Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc and Cabernet Franc, we maintain an inventory of French white oak wine barrels.
The winemaking practices we use are derived
from the traditional methods of France and adapted to the particular requirements of Connecticut. By the traditional methods used in the Cote d’Or in Burgundy, wines are made from a single grape variety, such as Chardonnay. We believe that these methods of winemaking, although requiring a substantial amount of hand labor, produce the most satisfactory results.
Our commitment to tradition and quality in wine production is exemplified by our use of French oak barrels for fermentation and aging our Chardonnay. The winery imports French oak barrels made to our specifications as to wood type and toasting levels by various Tonnelleries (Mercier, etc). Stonington Chardonnay wines are fermented, undergo malo-lactic conversion and are aged sur-lees for 11 months in a combination of new and used barrels. Our red wine (Cabernet Franc), after fermentation either in stainless steel tanks or in small open-topped bins, are aged from 12-18 months in predominately new barrels.
The other varietal and proprietary wines are produced in computer-controlled stainless steel fermenters at lower temperatures to capture their distinctive varietal character. The Seaport White
is fermented in stainless steel tanks allowing the wines to be fruity and crisp.