Wine making has been around for thousands of years and is a natural process that requires very little human intervention.
My father used to do it in the traditional way. He died a few days ago, but I have lots of memories with him. Making wine is one of them. It was a family gathering. Don’t think that we have a huge vineyard. My dad had 4 vines but very good ones, red grapes with a strawberry flavor.
We used to get all the family together to do the harvest. Choosing when to harvest the grapes is a major fact in how the wine will turn out. It was also a time for jockes, stories and lots of fun. We used to destemmer by hand and crush the grapes with our hands. Now days, we have small corkscrew crusher to do that, so we don’t need to do the destemmer by hand. If the stem is left attached to the grape for too long, it will give off a bitter taste later.
For the next step, the pressing, we used a small mechanical press. We never did it like they do it in Italy with your feet in a huge barrel.
Pressing was done by the men in the house, so my little boy was present to taste the grape juice. He loved it. It is the first time for him, and he loved to be part of the process. He tried and help as much as he could, and was such a fan to see him participate.
From this point only the men will take care of the wine. To keep the secret of the process.
The grape juice is placed in oak barrels for red wines. During the fermentation process, the grapes’ natural sugars are converted into alcohol by wild yeasts that form on the grapes as they grow. Fermentation time varies, but is usually seven to ten days. For red wines, the skins are removed during or after the initial fermentation.
The liquid is gently pumped or bucketed by hand from the fermentation barrels into clean barrels.
The wine is finally racked, by hand, into bottles. The bottles are corked and labeled.
So, this is our traditional wine making process. In the end I raise a glass of wine and wish you a good day!