Thursday, November 1, 2012


The wines from the 2012 harvest are coming along. We had 3 tons of Chambourcin grapes that we have split into 2 batches. One will produce a semi sweet red and the other will be a dry red. The dry red we will be oaking and tonight we put together an oak trial. We have 8 different styles of oak to choose from. The styles vary in the flavors they impart such as vanilla, mocha, or spice and how much "toast" they have. Each will impart a slightly different taste to the wine.You can see from the first picture they are "sticks" of oak known as staves. We filled up nine bottles with the dry Chambourcin and dropped a different set of staves in eight of the bottles. The ninth bottle acts as a control bottle. You can drop one or both of the staves that come with each flavor into a bottle depending on how much intensity you want.You can also vary the time the oak contacts the wine from one to two weeks.

We went ahead and have dropped both staves into the bottles and will keep them in there for a minimum of 2 weeks. This will impart the maximum flavoring and toast and we can then determine if we need to lighten it up for the actual wine.  After two or so weeks we will sample the 8 bottles and determine which one is best to move forward.

You may wonder why we are not using barrels for oaking. The simple answer is the cost and space. Barrels are a costly item for a new winery plus we wanted to make sure before we purchase them that we have our space planned out. Staves do a great job of imparting flavors like barrels do at a fraction of the cost. So this vintage we went with staves, but I am sure we will be investing in barrels in the near future as money allows.

So there you have a little insight into our winemaking process.We will keep you posted on our trials.