Gandona Estate is single-minded in its approach to ensuring quality. The winery does not purchase outside grapes; rather, it custoom built a setup to control every stage of the grape growing and winemaking process. The winery was completed in 2010 and was designed to embrace the best of both old- and new-world winemaking techniques. Adopting an old-world practice used by the legendary Chateaux of France, concrete fermentation tanks were incorporated into the winery’s design. Wines are barrel-aged in a cave tucked inside Pritchard Hill’s rocky interior, providing consistently cool temperatures and an ideal degree of humidity. A separate, temperature-controlled room inside the cave can be heated or cooled as needed. Reclaimed wood and other repurposed materials were used in several areas of the winery, like the winery’s interior oak doors made from trees harvested from the vintner’s former home in Connecticut. The boulders and rocks excavated from the cave were used to create the winery’s exterior wall, and the bathroom sink was chiseled from a large boulder excavated from deep inside the hill. The property’s old redwood water storage tank was dismantled and transformed into beautiful doors for the winery and cave. Grapes arrive to the winery immediately after picking to be vinified in small lots. The winemaking team first hand-sorts individual clusters, selecting the finest for crushing and de-stemming. Then, individual berries are sorted, removing those with imperfections. The remaining grapes are transferred to concrete tanks for fermentation by a bin/gravity flow process. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed and placed in French oak barrels for aging in Gandona Estate’s cave.