Backstory is so named to denote that each year, a new chapter unfolds in the vineyards. So each year it's a new wine, a new story. It is crafted by O'Neill Vintner's, one of the largest wineries in California, with facilities and vineyards all over the state.
The vineyards selected for this wine are located in Lodi and the Sierra Foothills. They equally feature long warm days and cool nights. Lodi's position in the world of wine has changed dramatically as we see more and more great wines coming from this area. While we're pleased to find such values here, it could be a problem as we already see the prices start to skirt upwards. Even the wine business can't escape the laws of supply and demand.
Grapes for this wine were handled gently to minimize bitterness and fermented cool to maximize color and flavor extraction. The firm structure of this Merlot is one of its more outstanding features. The wine was aged for up to one year in new and used American and French oak barrels.
Because of O'Neill's vast vineyard holdings, they are more suited than most to make great wine, no matter what the vintage throws at them. If the vintage was better in one place over another, then that's where the grapes are chosen. In this case, these two areas produced different wines that together made the perfect blend. The supple Lodi grapes balanced with the aggressive Sierra Foothill grapes to offer an ideal combination to match eggplant Parmesan or honey-glazed ham.