The techniques and technicalities of winemaking should be mastered to the extent that they take a backseat to instinct and intuition. With an understanding of the Russian River Valley terroir based in four decades producing wine from the land, an incredible reservoir of knowledge allows Davis Bynum to produce a wine created with emotion and soul at the forefront—girded by an innate understanding of this terroir’s complexity.
Davis Bynum believes there is an art to simplicity. Our philosophy of minimalist viticulture is the product of deep respect and understanding of the Russian River Valley’s unique terroir, as well as an acknowledgement that the best wines – like the best meals – happen when the ingredients are in their prime, and handled with utmost care.
When a bottle of wine bears the Bynum name, it bears significance: from the vineyard to the bottle, every aspect of the winemaking process has been done on-site, ensuring a truly genuine expression of the region’s terroir every year.
At Davis Bynum, the wine harvesting process begins before the slightest hint of sunrise in the horizon. Picking grapes in the middle of the night has myriad benefits: cooler temperatures mean happier workers, and the grapes themselves have stable sugar levels in the evening, resulting in less “surprises” for the winemakers during fermentation. Lastly, harvesting grapes when they are already cool means less effort chilling them before they are crushed, saving energy costs and allowing Davis Bynum to be even more eco-friendly.
The use of wild yeast during fermentation is a bit of a gamble. Winemakers know this more natural approach takes away some level of control and predictability. There is always risk associated with natural fermentation—but Davis Bynum finds the risk associated with this less interventionist method worth taking. But when native fermentation works well, it makes for a wine with greater complexity and results in a more interesting, genuine expression of the terroir.
In keeping with Bynum’s “hands-off” winemaking philosophy, Davis Bynum wines are unfiltered, bottled along with their natural sediments, yeast and bacteria. We separate the finished product from these natural elements that cloud the wine with a careful racking process. But rather than filter the wine any further using less natural methods, we prefer to accept the slight haze that sometimes comes with an unfiltered product. Over the years, Davis Bynum has found this natural, old-world style of winemaking yields a more complex, aromatic, flavorful wine with more nuanced characteristics than would otherwise be seen in the bottle.