Our winemaking philosophy is based entirely on our motto, “to create exceptional quality wine that goes with food and friends.

That means no short cuts.

It’s understanding that wines contain over 1500 natural chemical compounds

….and the nurturing it takes in the vineyard and winery to allow those natural flavors to express themselves

….and the understanding with 1500 natural chemical compounds that everything we do affects either positively or negatively the flavors and aromas.

….and that seeds of grapes contain upwards of 65% of the potential flavor compounds (all bad!) in wine, so working gently with the grapes allows for the flavors of the seeds to stay in the seeds and not in the wine.


It’s understanding that a good pot of chili has simmered forever on the stove.  So some of our wines will spend plenty of time in oak barrels, some new, some older, to achieve the balance of aging to accentuate both aging and bright fruit flavors.  That fermenting in oak barrels, white wines that is, and well, sometimes reds too, allow for complex flavors to develop through autolysis, which is the breaking down the yeast cell wall to release proteins into the wine.

It’s understanding the taste difference between natural sweetness and sugar-added sweetness.  Naturally sweet wines finish clean and refreshing.  Sugar added to wines provide that cloying sensation at the back of the roof of the mouth and back of the tongue.  That’s right, we don’t add sugar to make our sweeter wines.  Naturally, sweet wine should only have fructose, as the yeast will ferment glucose before fructose.  Sucrose, or sugar, is a combined molecule of glucose and fructose, when added to an acidic solution it will split apart into glucose and fructose.  Fructose has 3 calories per gram.  Glucose 4.  Fructose is 2.2 times sweeter in taste than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter than sucrose.  Essentially, our sweetest wines on the list have a mere 3% to 3-1/2% residual sugar, all fructose.  For a winery to sweeten our taste level of fructose with sugar, they would have to add 6% to 7%.  By the way, glucose is the sweetener that causes that cloying, sticky, sugary aftertaste and is the sugar linked to so many diseases such as type 2 diabetes and is the fuel of cancer.  If you start doing the math, our residual sugars easily have less than half the calories of normal American sweet wines.

It’s understanding that a good pot of chili has plenty of spices.  To us it makes sense to blend — not only different grape varieties, but different growing years.  The art of careful blending is a hallmark of Turtle Run Winery.

It’s understanding that the single hardest process in winemaking is the prep work to bottle a wine.  We don’t over filter.  We use cold to fine red wines, not additives.  There are no added tannins to our wines, no liquid oak extracts, no flavor enhancing anything, no mouthfeel enhancers, none of that stuff.   We tweak through aging, filtering, blending, freezing, not adding something out of the 1″ catalog we have that contains legal additives.  We taste, adjust some more.  The only additives you can experience in our wines are the following:  Potassium metabisulfite which releases free sulfur dioxide or “sulfites”.  We add potassium sorbate which is a natural yeast inhibitor.  We sometimes add some citric acid if we need to increase the acidity and every so often to reduce the acids we’ll add potassium bi-carbonate.

Sometimes you’ll hear someone say, “Oh, I can’t drink wines with sulfites, they give me headaches.”  Not so fast.  The origins of sulfur in wines dates back centuries.  Sulfites are a natural bacterial inhibitor in wine (not that the bacteria in wine can hurt you — they can distort the fruity flavors — and not that wine can hurt you, per se, since no human pathogens can live in wine due to its acid and alcohol) and they keep the wine from oxidizing.  The original reason for “contains sulfites” originates with the restaurant industry.  When salad bars became a “new thing” a very long time ago, preserving fruits and vegetables became very difficult so sulfites were sprinkled on the foods which is a safe practice.  Unfortunately, for hyper-asthmatics breathing in, not drinking, but breathing sulfur can severely restrict their airways.  So a knee-jerk reaction occurred and any product which used sulfites was supposed to put that on their labels.  The wine industry did.   Potassium sorbate is a natural yeast inhibitor that is now manufactured and is perfectly safe at the small dosages needed to keep yeast cells from multiplying.  You would never add it to an actively fermenting wine, but to one that has been filtered.  Your hope is you captured all the yeast cells, but sometimes you miss a few, so sorbates, as we call them, are our little insurance policy.  Citric acid is the natural acid in citrus.  Potassium bi-carbonate is another natural product and adding potassium sorbate and potassium bi-carbonate gives you a little extra potassium in your diet.

Mostly though, it’s listening to you, the customer, and crafting only the very best wines that you quite frankly ask for and deserve.

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