Which CA Syrah producers use whole cluster fermentation?

In addition to the fine recommendations above, I’ll add Copain, which uses varying amounts of whole cluster in the syrahs. And Halcon is now using a bit (on the order of 30% I believe).

My own experience is that whole cluster can often add some interest to a wine, but it can also overpower some wines. The first thing I look at is vineyard source (i.e., local climate and soil), then winemaker, then the more nuanced aspects such as whole cluster or other winemaking choices. Peay, for example, uses no whole cluster, but makes syrahs in what I consider to be the top tier of California wines.

Copain’s Halcon Vineyard Syrah is whole cluster, I believe.

Alan and Kyle, I left Copain off my post as I believe Wells has reduced his whole cluster treratment since the new era began. I do think now he is usually between 1/3 to 1/2, but he’s not at 100%, which is what the OP first asked about.

While not CA, here in OR Matello and Biggio Hamina both do 100% wc cool climate Syrah.

Man I’d like to taste those.

i’ve heard tell of some special boots, designated for WC punchdowns only.

but that’s probably just an urban legend.

Details neener Nevermind :wink:

Enfield is 100% whole cluster Syrah awesomeness


I believe their Griffin’s Lair, Clary Ranch and North Coast syrahs are all whole cluster.
Delicious wines too.

Seem to recall Shane Wines syrahs being whole-cluster. Has been a while since I’ve ordered, tho. Was great stuff.

Ain’t that the truth!

Andrew, you’re correct. I’ve been using a large percentage (55%-100%) of whole cluster fermentation with my Syrahs since the first vintage in 2006. Percentage depends on the vintage and site.

Sandlands is 100% whole-cluster on everything including the Syrah from Soberanes Vineyard. Neyers also uses a percentage of whole-cluster. Failla uses almost 100% most years I believe.

At Bedrock we use between 40-80% whole cluster on all Syrah lots in the winery. We have been using more and more over the years as I love the spice, brightness and texture it produces in the wine. The decision is made based on the year, the grapes, and the site. We also use it on Carignane, Grenache, and some Zinfandel.