Every glass of wine we drink is the result of years of devotion by a winegrower. The next time you open a bottle, pause a moment to appreciate their dedication. Cheers!
(click on any image to view the story in photos)
It all seems so beautiful, but there is so much behind a bottle of wine.
Each vine must be planted and tended
Even in winter there’s vineyard work to do.
Spring brings bud break and vigilance for disease.
Bud break – a vulnerable time early in spring.
Weather is out of the winegrower’s control
Each vine is tied to the post by hand; every year.
The green setting would never produce a photo like this.
The best vineyards must be tended by horse and by hand.
The grapes must be thinned, sometimes mulitple times through the season
The goal: every bunch, perfect
Protect the grapes from disease, mold, birds.
Three weeks from harvest, drop 1/2 the fruit from every bunch to maximize quality.
Waiting for the perfect moment of ripeness: grapes, pips, skins, stems
A year’s work to ensure the grapes are the best they can be.
Grapes ready for harvest at their peak
For the best quality, harvest by hand.
1 bin at a time, row by row.
Machine harvest would be easier and cheaper.
A year’s work in the vineyard, captured at one moment
No rest between harvest and grapes safely in the fermenter.
The glamour of harvest
Monitor the juice – daily.
Fermenting grapes need to be watched closely.
In the winery, cleanliness is king.
There is always something needing to be cleaned.
Did we mention there’s lots of cleaning?
Punchdowns are very physical, 2-3 times a day, every day for weeks.
Punch, lift, repeat…
Exhausted from punchdowns, take a minute to share with guests.
Neverending work in the winery
Each barrel in the entire cellar must be tended weekly.
Watching over every bottle
Taxes, authorities, associations all must be followed
All so we can enjoy this.
This is my entry in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #7. This month’s theme is “devotion”. Want to see the other entries? Visit SAHMmelier, last month’s winner and the host of this month’s competition, or search on #mwwc7 on Twitter!