Sunday, February 10, 2013

without learning about wine making!

My husband and I learned a lot while we were in Napa.  Why the grape vines are trained to grow the way they are.  This is so the vines can have the maximum amount of sunlight.  It was amazing to see almost every single plant-able area containing rows and rows of vines.  Whether the land was flat or hilly.

Considering the hilly block of vines, the next question was how does one maintain the grass and other ground growth from over coming the vines.  Animals!  Yes, animals.  One winery said they invested in goats.  They not only eat the vegetation, but offer a great fertilization.  All natural.

Our next stop, was the extremely large machine that squeeze the grapes.  If you are as old as I am then you'll remember a scene from an entertaining red-headed-comedian stomping grapes in a barrel with her dear friend.  The senior wine educator shared that people really didn't what to drink wine that tasted of feet any longer.  Of course we all had a good chuckle after that.

He went on to explain that just the juice of white grapes is collected, while with red grapes the juice and skins are collected.  From there, the collections are taken to large tanks to be mixed with various yeasts.  And then after a specified number of days to weeks, the contents are then filtered and placed in barrels.

That's it, it does seem simple... and wine making has been going on for centuries upon centuries.  Would you attempt this?  You don't need much land.  But I would imagine you do need to learn a bit more about planting and the time one must put in to growing the grapes.  Then again, you can buy the grapes from someone else and start there.  Would you stomp them or would you find another way to squeeze the juice of the grapes.  Would you make white or red?  Sweet or dry?  The questions are endless...

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