Grapes harvested in the fall go through many stages of processing before becoming finished wine. Fermentation is complete a few weeks after harvest, but several additional processing steps are needed before a wine is either laid down in barrels to age or made ready to bottle.
Spring is when we sample our aged red wines to determine if they are ready to be bottled. Our reds are stored for up to twenty-four months in either French or American oak barrels, and each barrel that is a candidate for bottling is sampled individually to determine its readiness. We recently sampled fifteen barrels in preparation to blend two wines...River Bend Blend and Summer Red. As luck would have it, we found a stand out barrel that will become a Reserve wine later this year...exciting! More on that in another post…
Once we have determined which barrels are ready, the wine is transferred to stainless steel tanks for the next stage of processing. Filtration is a crucial step in winemaking, and our wines go through five filtrations before reaching the bottling line. Filtration to this level of polish ensures both quality and longevity, allowing our red wines to age gracefully in the bottle for several years.
Interested in learning more? Next week we will be on the bottling line, so stay tuned.