Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Little Perspective

I think it's always good to get out and see what is going on in the world.  We get so consumed in our own little corner of the world we lose perspective sometimes.  Wine making is truly a universal concept, and one that has been carried on for 1000's of years.  Today I am looking at a website dedicated to "natural" winemaking, and it is based in France. 

Homewineschool.com

Much like the production of Beaujolais Nouveau, this group of producers do things a little differently than what we are used to.  They rely on wild yeasts, not commercial yeasts that are primarily used in the US.  And they place the grapes(and stems) directly in the barrel with no pressing or destemming.   So the grapes ferment on the whole berries.  The barrel has no airlock, so the carbon dioxide produced in fermentation is not released, but compresses the grapes and helps them ferment.  This is also why some of these wines produced have a "fizzy" taste when you drink them....it's the residual carbon dioxide in the wine.  This wine making process is called carbonic maceration.

"Natural" wine producers also don't use sulfur (or sulfites).  They rely on the natural protection that carbon dioxide provides to preserve the wine.

Check out their site.

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Come follow our home winemaking journey starting with fresh grapes from California in fall 2010.
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