End of the Road Winery wine is distinct in a number of ways. While there are dozens of wineries in Ventura County now, most all of them buy their grapes from outside Ventura County and often hundreds of miles away. End of the Road Winery grows all of its own grapes and bottles its wine on the premises by hand.
The grapes are crushed and stemmed within minutes of being harvested. Ten barrels a year are produced and each barrel comes from the same part of the vineyard year after year. That’s why each label has a specific designation on it like “Slippery Slope – upper” or “Rock Bottom – lower”.
We choose never to filter our wines. Almost all wineries run their wines through filters, a process which removes some of the flavor from the wine. This process makes the wine “pretty” for the consumer by making it perfectly clear. We want our wine to be perfectly tasty, not perfectly pretty.
The wine is also never fined for clarity. Fining is a process where something like volcanic soil or egg whites is added to the wine in the barrel to bind with the fine particulates and drag them to the bottom of the barrel. Again, this is another way of clarifying wine but it also strips flavor. We feel that the flavor of a wine has never been improved by fining it.
The barrels are also stirred every month or two. This is called batonnage. It’s the French word for baton or stick. This process stirs everything that has settled to the bottom of the barrel back into the clear wine above it. Within a few days the wine settles out again but not before leaving extra flavor and thickness in the wine which is noticeable in the tasting experience.
Wine is the only consumer product that is put on the table for a special meal that still has its label on it. End of the Road Winery is proud of how it makes its wine and wants you to be prepared to enjoy your glass of wine when you see that label. Every step of the wine making process is done by hand.