If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I wanted to make my own wine, I could’ve made a competing bid for Robert Mondavi Winery.
The answer, of course, is always "yes." I’d love to make my own wine. But I never could get around to it—one, I’ve got a day job and, two, I live in New York City.
But I recently unearthed a way to make my own wine while successfully dealing with those issues. Using a custom crush facility in California that buys grapes for hundreds of private customers, I can get access to a supply of quality grapes, and then have them vinified and aged according to my specifications.
It’s a little bit of winemaking via telephone (so I guess I know how Michel Rolland feels now) but it’s the best I can do.
The custom crush facility also bottles and labels the wine for me, and lo and behold, my inner marketing machine already has a label design in mind. Go figure. [Note: Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, the wine will not be commercialized, and will only be for consumption by family and friends.]
So, off I go, on my first ever winemaking foray. It will be a Syrah, sourced from Santa Barbara fruit from this year’s harvest. I’m aiming to make a more restrained style of wine—fruit, yes—but not all fruit. I want some structure that will support moderate (3 to 5 years) aging, and I want a wine that will do well either by itself or with food.
As the process moves along, I’ll let you know what I decide to do, from when the grapes get picked, to how it’s vinified and aged. And I’m sure I’ll wrestle with a few issues along the way. Right off the bat. for instance, am I asking a California vineyard to do too much by reining itself in so that I can get the style of wine I like? Have I already begun making a manipulated wine, instead of just letting the vineyard speak for itself?
But for a lover of Côte-Rôtie to be working with California fruit, this should be interesting either way ...
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 9, 2007 3:13pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — October 9, 2007 3:33pm ET
Neil Koffler — New York, NY — October 9, 2007 3:43pm ET
Don R Wagner — Illinois — October 10, 2007 1:41am ET
James Molesworth — October 10, 2007 9:29am ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — October 10, 2007 2:36pm ET
James Molesworth — October 10, 2007 2:54pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — October 10, 2007 3:13pm ET
James Molesworth — October 10, 2007 3:25pm ET
Barry Webster — October 10, 2007 4:55pm ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — October 10, 2007 5:09pm ET
Mark Mccullough — GA — October 11, 2007 7:05am ET
James Molesworth — October 11, 2007 9:28am ET
Mr Christopher N Solle — October 11, 2007 4:14pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 11, 2007 11:10pm ET
James Molesworth — October 12, 2007 9:16am ET
Santiago Achaval — Mendoza — October 12, 2007 3:13pm ET
James Molesworth — October 12, 2007 3:26pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 12, 2007 10:22pm ET
Mike Maguire — Port Orchard,Wa — October 14, 2007 9:21am ET
Michael Brill — San Francisco, CA — October 14, 2007 11:44am ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — October 14, 2007 11:58pm ET
Santiago Achaval — Mendoza — October 17, 2007 10:24am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions