Winemaker Joe Nielson always has a plan when he's contemplating the steps he is going to take to craft a wine. He starts with the vineyard. While walking through, he looks at each vine for any different characteristics that could impact the grapes. He checks the soil for any abnormalities as well as the things that would benefit the vines. He does his examination as a doctor would conduct a physical on a patient; patiently and with no pre-conceived notions. It might have something to do with having enrolled at Michigan State in pre-med as his parents had done before him. Then, as it seems to always be the story, wine got in the way.
Michigan State instituted a winemaking program which sparked his interest. At the time, he wasn't old enough to take winemaking, so he convinced his parents to let him plant a vineyard on their 20 acre back yard. Joe's perseverance earned him an acceptance into the program, and he earned a degree in horticulture and then worked as a winemaking assistant in Northern Michigan. Nielson's intensity is what impressed everyone he interviewed with, making it an easy choice to hire him. He had a string of successes until landing at Ram's Gate in what he called being given "a pile of gold and silver to make jewelry." He now had everything he needed to make great wine.
Our selection is a perfect example. He takes Chardonnay to a new level, offering a dynamic combination of flavors and textures beginning with lemon curd and morphing into buttered brioche and finishing with orange peel and tropical sunshine. It is like magic in your glass.