The Cacciatore Fine Wines & Olive Oil Corp (CWO) winery was built from 1998 to 2001 and is strategically located at the heart of the Estate Vineyard’s 231 acres, which extends one mile along Highway 99 east of Pixley, California in the San Joaquin Valley. Overlooking vineyards and olive groves, the winery has two independent structures. Both are seismic resistant.
a) The winery floor is sustained by a thick, reinforced slab and 45 underground, reinforced cement pillars set 50 feet deep. The floor was built to support the load of stainless steel tanks used for wine storage and fermenting.
b) The winery building has its own underground, reinforced cement foundation to support its roof and 34-foot perimeter walls. The walls and roof are completely insulated to preserve energy and maintain a constant temperature throughout the winery. The finished wood ceiling structure not only projects a warm character, but also stems the chill of the refrigerated stainless steel tanks.
Uniquely conceived to gently process grapes regardless of their tonnage, the winery can adapt to the special requirements of each variety, even those requiring delicate receiving and special handling.
Only bladder presses are used to press the pomas (grape skins and seeds).
Edge fermenting equipment provides flexibility to cater to the specific needs of each premium variety of grapes and ensures the transformation process brings out all potential character of the grapes.
The fermenting and aging process, critical to the production of high-quality fine wines, takes place in the spectacular and immense winery room, a “must see” on any visitor’s itinerary. Here a large number of stainless steel tanks, each equipped with individual, self-contained temperature controls, provide the ideal environment to assist and enhance the wine to age as nature intended, achieving the goal of “NATURAL CHARACTER.” The harmonious combination of the world’s latest technological equipment with tried-and-true winemaking methods enable our winery to produce high-quality wines at low cost.
CWO’s advanced equipment enables the master winemaker to conduct a variety of fermenting procedures, including rotary maceration, piston-punch fermentation, pump-over fermentation and carbonic maceration, which maximizes Natural Character.
The winery’s laboratory constantly monitors wine evolution. All tanks are displayed on computer screens in the lab, allowing the master winemaker and lab technician to monitor the volume, temperature, variety and vintage of each tank.
The state-of-the-art bottling line can handle 750 ml and 1.5 liter bottles and can bottle 2,000 x 750 ml per hour.
The line is equipped with a sterile filtering system to prevent yeast and bacteria contamination and keep impurities from falling into the wine. Each bottle is rinsed and ozone sterilized, and argon co2 injections prior to filling help avoid oxidation. Other features of the bottling line include a wine gravity filler, a corking head with vacuum system, polylaminated capsulers, and rotary auto-adhesive four-way labeling.