Things are a little slow at the winery right now. Most everything has been put back in order after crushing the grapes. Right now I am waiting to press the wine from the skins.
I do things a little differently than most wineries these days. I allow the skins to stay in contact with the finished wine, post-fermentation, for up to a month. This is known as extended maceration. It is scary to do because initially the wine becomes very tannic. Imagine leaving your teabag in your cup of tea for an extra five minutes. It would become more astringent.
But something amazing happens. The wine scientists tell us that the tannins polymerize which as I understand it means that the small molecules join and become larger molecules. This happens with most of the polyphenols including the tannins and the anthocyanins (color pigments). Larger molecules are more stable and feel softer on the palate. But the trick is that you have to wait……and then wait a little longer.
Meanwhile, it’s getting colder in the winery and it’s not fun relishing the thought of pressing in late November or early December.
Because of this technique my wines have deeper richer flavors. They sometimes have a bit of astringency when young but are still drinkable.
I also think, and I can’t state this on the label, that my wines are healthier for you with all of these polyphenols, the stuff of anti-oxidants; of course in moderation, served with dinner. Plus my wines tend to be lower in alcohol as I search out vineyards that are slightly cooler.
The winery will be open November 17, 18, 2-5pm.
Then I will be open the two weekends prior to Christmas, Dec.15, 16 and 22, 23. Each of those December days I will have some wonderful cheeses and Partners’ crackers along some wine pulled from my cellar.
Also the Christmas Case will be available with descriptions included and a special price.