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NorCal Wine Blog

Profile of McCay Cellars: Video Interview with Michael McCay, Photos, More

McCay Cellars is a small, family-owned winery in Lodi. They make boutique quantities of high-quality wines. The winery is best known for old vine Zinfandel, but they produce a variety of wines using their estate Petite Sirah and grapes sourced from other top vineyards in the area.

The McCay Cellars Zinfandels have a different profile than most from Lodi. Proprietor/winemaker Michael McCay brings an old world sensibility to his wines. They are dry, aged only in French oak and as notable for their texture as for their complexity.

I recently spent a day at the winery and vineyards with Michael McCay. That day he and his team were bottling five wines. McCay Cellars Contention Zinfandel, a new high-end production, was among them. It’s a single-vineyard Zinfandel from a very unique, old-vine site. Michael McCay provides more detail on that vineyard and his wines overall in the video below.

 

 

contention-bottle-shot2
McCay Cellars will release the 2010 Contention Zinfandel in about six months.

old-vine-texture
McCay Cellars makes much of their Zinfandel from old-vine grapes. This vine is nearly 100 years old. It's trunk is thick as a man's thigh.

mccay-barrels
McCay Cellars red wines are aged only in French oak. Some get a high-percentage of new oak, others more neutral. Some of the wines are put into hogsheads or puncheons. These over-sized barrels impart less oak flavor on the wines because the ratio of oak surface area to wine volume is lower than with a standard barrel.

trulucks-tank
After aging in French oak, McCay Cellars red wines, such as this 2009 Truluck's Zinfandel, are transferred to a stainless steel tank for bottling.

mccay-rose-bottling
McCay Cellars is also releasing a rosé this year. It looks fizzy here because of the bottling process. It is a still wine.

 

 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. Photos and video by Fred Swan. All rights reserved.