- Hand-picked on September 20, 22 & 26, October 13, and November 6, 2012 - Vineyards 37% Chorro Creek Vineyard 37% Spanish Springs Vineyard 12% Bien Nacido Vineyards 12% Dante Dusi Vineyard 2% Stone Corral Vineyard - Varieties 51% Pinot Noir, 37% Syrah, 12% Zinfandel - Average grape analysis 24.2 ºBrix, 5.86 g/l T.A., 3.57 pH - Fermented in small stainless steel tanks open top tanks, punched down and/or pumped over daily, 80 ºF peak fermentation temperature and 12 days of skin contact. - Aged in two to four-year old French oak barrels for 15 months - Wine analysis 13.5% alcohol, 5.85 T.A., 3.47 pH - Lightly filtered and bottled on February 13, 2014 - 206 cases produced Flying Cloud is produced at Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, and the name Flying Cloud pays tribute to the Eden Prairie airport in winemaker Stephen Ross Dooleys home state of Minnesota. This particular bottling of Flying Cloud was made exclusively for the Minnesota market. The Aviator blend was made using classic Burgundian methods of production: the grapes were de- stemmed and crushed into small stainless steel tanks, pumped-over and punched down daily during the peak of fermentation, 12 days of skin contact, lightly pressed with a state-of-the-art stainless steel basket press, and aged in neutral French oak barrels for fifteen months. The 2012 growing season was warmer than average; the preceding winter saw a much smaller than average amount of rainfall. Grape yields were slightly above average. The warm growing season yielded wines with ripe fruit flavors, and good balance of sugar and acidity. Its no secret that this red blend is mainly Pinot Noir, which is where its pretty aromatics come from, and the Syrah and Zinfandel add nice spice and textural components. The wine has a lot going on. The color is deep ruby with purple hues. The aromas are bright, floral and reminiscent of red berries, cranberries and cherries with notes of cured meats, vanilla from the barrels, and anise. Its a delicious, young, vibrant, fruity wine with fine tan- nins; simply yummy…showing all the hallmarks of an elegant, refined red wine.