Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making Wine

We have four acres of wine grapes at the ranch and are going to start making wine this fall.  I just purchased a wine making kit so I could practice making wine as I haven't done it before.  I'm going to make Merlot.  Mmmmm.

Starting the winemaking process was pretty easy so far.  The kit came with a merlot grape juice so I didn't have to press the grapes and all that.  I sanitized the equipment, poured the juice in, poured some bentonite in (which I guess helps to clarify the wine so it's a clear red), poured some oak powder in to give it that barrel aged taste, mixed it all together and then put the yeast in.  The yeast doesn't get mixed in, it just gets sprinkled on top. 

It will be really interesting to see what happens and how good the wine turns out.  I'm not really a big drinker.  I like a few types of wine, particularly muscato d'asti.  However, a winery is my mom's dream and since this is a family business, we all support each other in their efforts so I'm learning.  I'm even taking some online classes through the VESTA program to learn more about growing grapes and making wine.  Since I enjoy learning new things I'm having fun.  It's amazing how much chemistry is involved, which is of course why my mom loves it so much--she's a scientist.  I'm just happy to do anything that makes the farm succeed and gets the family working together.