Micole Moore, together with his wife, Teri Kerns, owns Ramona Ranch Winery, where he is the primary winemaker, and COO. Micole also provides vineyard and wine-making services, and is helping to guide winemaking decisions at several local wineries, experimenting with yeast strains, and learning what does best in our climate. Under his close watch, Teri also makes small batches of Ramona wine, and handles the yeast, barrel, and varietal selection as well as the marketing.
We use traditional oak barrels for all of our red wines, and are experimenting with aging white wines in oak barrels, too! We’ll be excited for you to try our oaked Viognier when it’s ready. We source all of our barrels from our friends at Barrel Builders, in Napa, who shared this information to learn more about why wineries use barrels:
Oak contributes flavors and aromatics to the wine.
One of the benefits of oak barrels is that the wood allows oxygen to interact with the wine. If you fill a barrel with wine, leave it for a bit, and then come back, you find the lower level of wine and a vacuum in the resulting space. This is due to the fact that the wood is not solid like one might think but the porosity of the staves allows a minute amount of oxygen into the barrel which then reacts with the wine creating a chemical, mechanical, and microbiological process that is extremely complex but softens of the tannins and maturing the wine. Tannins are polymers 2 to 10 molecules long, and young wines contain many short tannins that contribute aggressive, green, “stemmy” characters. Given time to mature, these start to combine, giving the wine a velvety mouth feel.
When you see oak barrels at Ramona Ranch Winery, remember the three roles they play in our winemaking process. First, they are containers, each barrel holding typically 60 gallons. Second, the barrel breathes and ages the wine as we’ve described and a well maintained barrel can do this for decades. The third contribution is to add oak characters to the wine that we believe enhance the flavor – what do you think?
Micole Moore, together with his wife, Teri Kerns, own Ramona Ranch Winery, LLC where he is the winemaker, assisted by Teri.