All fruit was handpicked into ½ ton bins. Within hours, the fruit arrived at the winery to ensure the highest quality possible. All of the grapes were sorted by hand to glean out any damaged fruit. The grapes clusters were destemmed and lightly crushed into one – ton fermentation bins. The yeast fermentation proceeded at temperatures ranging from 55 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit over an 11 to 13 day period. Once the yeast fermentation reached a Brix reading of 10, each wine was pressed off. At 8.5 Brix, a 22 percent brandy add was made to stop the yeast fermentation. Once the majority of the yeast settled out, the port wine was transferred to new French oak barrels. The brandy utilized was made from select C R Sandidge Merlot barrels of wine chosen to be distilled for our port program. Our brandy was aged 10 months in new American oak barrels. The malo – lactic fermentation was also stopped due to the high alcohol content. The wine was tightly filtered at bottling.