Monday, October 8, 2007

A little dust on the bottle...

I got to try my hand at winemaking today. My dad's been making his own wine since as far back as I can remember, and he now wants to pass his knowledge on to me. I have to say, he excels at it. His wine is better than probably 80 or 90% of the stuff on the market. Of course, I'm not a wine expert, but my brothers are, and they seem to like it as well.

But I digress. If I'm going to learn winemaking from anyone, it's going to be my dad.

Today was the harvest. We spent most of the day out in the field harvesting ripe bunches of grapes from the vines in our friend's backyard. We harvested just over a thousand pounds of grapes. We then brought those bunches over to the crusher. You see, the first step in winemaking (other than the harvest, of course) is to crush the grapes and let the big vats of juice, grape flesh, skin, and stems ferment for ten days. That's called primary fermentation. That's what we did today. Now we monitor the primary fermentation for ten days, allowing just the right amount of fermentation to take place, making adjustments as necessary.

In ten days, we press the grapes and filter out the skins and stems. That's when you end up with something that looks a little more like wine, but it won't be wine yet. Once we press them, it's time for the secondary fermentation.

More on this topic in ten days or so.

Until the next post,

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