On Saturday, I learned it takes approximately 10 months to go from grapes to wine. I cashed in my living social coupon for a three hour event at a wine making facility called the Wine Press and learned all about the wine making process.
The Wine press is actually a warehouse. For some reason, I was expecting a winery like building. When I entered, I was greeted by an older woman and asked to put a name tag on. It seemed like everyone was on time and after a short while, we were all invited up to the bar to sample wines and to munch on appetizers.
At the bar, I grabbed a glass of Zinfandel and then picked up some meat and cheese and sat down, so I truly could appreciate the place. I kinda felt like the Wine Press was decorated with an odd assortment of things: knight’s armor was in one corner, a carriage rested alongside the wall to the right of me, and an I Love Lucy poster was directly behind me.
The only wines available to try were Petit Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Berbera. All red. I am not really a big red wine fan unless A) it is communion, or B) a juicy steak is in front of me. Neither was the case, so Yuck. Although, to give red wine credit, I haven’t tried a port yet so I can’t say I don’t like them all.
Apparently, I missed the memo to bring a date or someone with me, because everyone was coupled up. I found it quite amusing to watch all the couples. Most importantly, I learned all about the wine process: In order to make your own red wine, you first have to start with picking your grapes. After that, you crush and de-stem the grapes and let them sit for about 8 to 10 days. Following that the crushed grapes are pressed, and then the juice produced is then transferred to an oak barrel and stored in a climate controlled barrel room. A few months later, the wine is emptied from the barrel and the sediment produced by the juice is removed. Then the barrel is cleaned and then the wine is topped off with your juice. Your barrel will then sit for about 4 to 5 months and then you will filter bottle and cork your wine.
White wine is a little harder to make because the grapes have to be pressed twice, placed in a stainless steel tanks and must be kept in cooler temperatures than red wine. The other steps are the same.
So there you have it. My adventures in learning about wine courtesy of living social:)