Wine Making

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In the Spring of 96, Karen and Eric and some friends were invited to make wine with a friend that has considerable experience making sparkling wine (champagne) and beer. First we pruned the vines (I think it was early June which is very late for pruning). This consisted of cutting back the vines so the right amount of grapes grow on the vine (you can tell I know nothing about pruning). Next visit to the vineyards was to pick the grapes (early September). At the end of the day we dumped all the grapes into a big white plastic bin. About a week or two later we went back and pressed the grapes and put the wine in a big stainless steel keg. And a few weeks after that we went back and transferred the wine to an Oak barrel. Next phase will be to bottle the wine.

On Saturday May 23, 1998 we bottled the wine! See pictures below. Although the wine is very good already, it will get better over the coming years.

The vineyard we used was bulldozed soon after we picked the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. So our wine will be the Last Harvest of this particular spot from Pickle Canyon in the Mount Veeder Appellation of the Napa Valley at altitude 1500 ft. (Umm, okay, so we were wrong, this vineyard has not been bulldozed yet. What of it? - eric 8/2000)

The DRAFT Label:

The Pictures:

Pruning #1

Grapes and the Pickers

Stomping the Grapes

Pruning #2

Pressed Grapes

Wine Press and Pressers

Pruning #3

Nick & Cindy

Pressing the Grapes

Wine Women

Grape Juice

Bottling Pictures: (click the small image for a larger image)

How to get the wine out of the barrel?

How to get the wine in the bottles?

How to insert the cork?

How to apply glue to the label?

The first bottle!

Now we wait...

The Mad Bottlers!