Amazon has EVERYTHING!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wine Making

A couple of months ago, we got the opportunity to join a wine making group named Woof Woof Winery.  Living in this area of California has been great!  The wine group is mostly E.J. Gallo employees (Gallo's headquarters is in Modesto), with the leader being the director of training for Gallo.  He has all the wine making stuff at his house and a small temperature controlled  building built in his back yard (AKA "The Dog House").  So far, we have had 2 working days.  On the first Saturday, David went out with them and they picked a bunch of grapes (don't remember what the weight was, but it was a crate about 4'x4'x4').  Sarah had a soccer game that morning, so I joined them back at the Dog House to help with the rest.

This was the first step of wine making... crushing the grapes (no, not really... this was just for show... I hope we didn't really use these grapes!)

This is what we used to crush the grapes (the gray crate in the back of the truck was full of grapes).

Here, they were putting grapes in the hopper, the guy in the back was turning the crank to crush the grapes.
Here I am, picking stems and leaves out of the grapes after they have been crushed.  It was a messy, messy, sticky job, but it was great!

All of the grapes and juice went into a large fermenting tank where it sat working it's magic for a few days... during the week some of the group did some stuff to the wine (can't remember all the details, it was a little over a month ago).  We are making 2 wines.  One of them is a Repasso wine. This is "re-passing" a lighter wine over a bigger wine's "squeezings" which adds body, color and flavor, and kicks off a secondary fermentation that boosts it's alcoholic content. (YIPPEE.... can't wait till that's ready!). 

While some were crushing grapes, others were emptying last years port out of the barrels so that it could be bottled.  Once all of the port was in the big steel thing, they bottled and corked it.

The next weekend we pumped the wine into the barrels, pressed the grapes and labeled the port bottles from the week before.

This isn't the actual wine press we used (someone forgot the camera that day)... but you get the idea.  Ours was a little bigger and had a round crank on the side.

At the end of both work sessions, lunch and lots of wine are served.  It was nice to try several of the previous years wines.  Most of them were really, really good.  At the end of the 2nd work day, we tried the Repasso wine that we are making.  It was finished fermenting and all that stuff, but hadn't aged yet, so it wasn't very good yet. We are both looking forward to the final product of this years work.

And finally, after each work day, we got to take home a bottle of previous vintages as "payment"... we both chose the Sir-Ahhh and the Chewed Shoe Cabernet.  They were both very good!

We have a Christmas party coming up in December and some other activities, such as coming up with a name and label for this years wine and some other activities.  I'll keep you posted!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...