Schermeister Cellars

Oak Before Smoke
2017 Chardonnay
Atlas Peak

2018 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 22 | Lot No. 186


Schermeister Cellars

Oak Before Smoke

Atlas Peak

5 cases produced


  • Unfiltered and wild fermented using only native yeasts from the vineyard
  • Rarely blended Muscat Clone Chardonnay adds lift and floral characteristics
  • Picked on a cool morning at 1200-foot elevation in a meticulously farmed vineyard of Atlas Peak
  • Barrel fermented and aged sur lies in 100% new French oak

Oak Before Smoke holds extraordinary meaning for us after a whirlwind 2017 harvest season. Picked just two weeks before the North Bay fires, this vintage represents the very essence of living and working in Napa Valley. To make wine is to make friends with the earth, which is what led me, to select a vineyard nestled above the valley floor in the acclaimed Atlas Peak nested appellation. Cold mornings at a high elevation made for an exceptionally long ripening season with a harvest date of September 28. The block adjacent to our Chardonnay happened to be the unique Muscat clone I sought to blend for the perfect Chardonnay. We also couldn't have predicted that in just 14 days, those same hills would be surrounded by fire. The lesson learned here is that Mother Nature waits for no one. She will give to you in such bounty before wiping away vast expanses of soil, then bring rebirth to the hills when little bits of green re-appear after the first rains.

Wine Facts

  • Wine is unfiltered
  • Single vineyard wine

Robert Schermeister

Winemaker, Schermeister Cellars

Winemaker, Robert Schermeister

It all started in Italy, where I fell in love with a simple approach to enjoying wine with great food and good company. Italian culture encourages consumption of wine by sipping for pure enjoyment. This revelation inspired me to bring that same sense of spirit to my own winemaking.

Country born: United States

Education: BS in Biochemistry, University of Idaho

Years in the wine industry: 8 years

Honors / Awards:
92 points, 2012 Pinot Noir, Wine Enthusiast
92 points, 2012 Pinot Noir, Prince of Pinot

Winemaking Philosophy:
I believe wine should be consumed slowly, so I aim to produce the very best flavors and aromas that one vineyard can provide. With this philosophy, my product becomes incredible wine produced in small quantities of Pinot Noir. I use a hands off approach with wild primary and secondary fermentation completely free of man-made yeasts and other chemicals. I believe consumers deserve to experience the height of individual terroir, which is the driving force behind my techniques.

Beckendorf Liquors, Inc

5005 West Avenue
San Antonio  TX  78213


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