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Archive for September, 2011

Wine Making 101

Deep down I am a strawberry margarita kind of girl. Well actually Diet Coke is my beverage of choice, but I am talking grown-up drinks right now. There are times in life when a glass of wine works out better however, like when I am trying to look like an adult. My appreciation for wine has grown through the years, but my knowledge is basic at best. All I know about wine was pretty much learned from these sources:

  • A wine tasting at the Biltmore Winery where my memory is a bit foggy. Apparently it is a good idea to spit out the wine rather than drink all of it, but that seemed like such a waste.
  • The movie Sideways.
  • The I Love Lucy Grape Stomping episode.

You can imagine my thrill therefore, when I got the chance to help with grape crushing yesterday at the new urban winery in town. Now I try to be a little bit vague on personal details in this blog, so I will not state the name of the winery. If you know me though, you know the only winery in our town. I have to add that the wine is quite good, and if you haven’t been, you should go give it a try!

So I showed up to help with crushing which was very interesting. We waited for the delivery of each growers grapes, then unloaded and weighed each load.

Totally wanted to show up dressed like this!

I got to keep my shoes on as we loaded the grapes into the crusher that separated out the stems from the grape juice and skins. The crushed grapes were then pumped up into a large tank where the juice will begin to ferment. The particular wine that was being made yesterday did not require the additional step of pressing, which I understand makes the process a bit more time consuming.

Wine before its time.

We repeated this process several times during the day, and while I barely scratched the surface of wine making knowledge, I really increased my appreciation of the craft.

It was a fun couple of hours and I look forward to helping again soon! Thanks to our Winemaker for the opportunity. Cheers!

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