“It receives the fruit and crushes the fruit, and then if it is white wine, it goes from the stemmer crusher directly into the press where it squeezes the juice. So now we have grape juice going into the fermentation tank, and it ferments there in a cool climate, cool environment.”
White wine typically ferments for about 6 weeks, and then is ready to be filtered into bottles. Red grapes are handled differently.
“If it is a red grape, after it ferments on the skin, then the skins are put into the press and the press squeezes off the skins. Then the skins are put back into the field and composted. “
And like a good steak, red wine must age.
“This is where aging occurs. The red wines go into these lovely oak barrels that are about 60 gallons a piece. They’ll each make about 300 bottles of wine.”
Red wines remain in the oak barrels for between 6 months and 2 years.
“When you age wine in oak, it’s like taking a pasta sauce and reducing it over the stove top. Over a period of 2 years, 10% of the volume, 6 gallons of water, evaporate through the pores of the barrel. It intensifies the color, it intensifies the flavor, and you wind up with a product that is so much enhanced , as compared to a wine that never goes into an oak barrel.”
The Texas wine industry, alive and well in the Brazos valley.