One of the reasons we love writing and talking about wine so much is that Michael is a home winemaker. So we see a lot of what the professionals do, although on a much smaller basis, and starting this month, we’re going to pull the curtain back on how wine is made. Or at least, how we do it.
A home winery – or in our case, a garage winery – runs on a calendar similar to that of a professional winery.
Fall, of course, is harvest, when the grapes are picked, and the wine is made. It’s a busy, almost frenetic time, with fermenting going on, wine getting pressed off of the grapes and put into whichever containers it will be spending time in – steel beer kegs, glass carboys or wood barrels.
But after all that’s done, there is a different sense of time. Our wines move from one container to another either when space opens up or when racking needs to happen.
So, this March, we’re looking to make some space in barrels for wine sitting in steel kegs. Red wines benefit from barrel time thanks to a bit of oxygen from the wood breathing and a bit of concentration from water evaporating through the wood. Our white wines are being subjected to 32 degree refrigeration to stabilize them before filtering and blending and eventually bottling.
All of this requires a schedule. And in our home garage space, it normally works like a game of Tetris with moving pieces fitting just so. Timing and having supplies in advance to complete an operation in one sitting. Does a domestic life allow for this? Stay tuned.