Impossible to resist. That’s how I felt when Robbin asked if I wanted to join a group of friends to make a barrel of wine at The Wine Press. You see, Robbin had attended a recent open house at this newly opened facility, experienced the fruits of their previous labors (pun intended) and decided to get a group to make some Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes recently harvested in central California.
At our first gathering last week, we crushed and de-stemmed our grapes using The Wine Press’s equipment. We each emptied one of the twenty-one 36-pound cases of grapes into the machine. From this machine the grapes were pumped into a fermentation pump, where Frank, one of the owners, tested the sugar content and added some yeast to begin the fermentation process.
As the juice from our grapes ferments, the sugar turns to alcohol. We’re currently awaiting a call from Frank to let us know that our sugar level is where it needs to be (close to zero). Once we get the call, we’ll know it’s time to return to The Wine Press for our next step: to press the grapes to extract all the juice and then store that resulting liquid in an oak barrel.
Knowing this group, the multi-step process will be fun, but — as an oenophile— I’m a bit skeptical about the resulting wine. Only time will tell. One thing I know for sure, though, is that this is a group that can be counted upon to help consume our results.
Stay tuned for details of the entire process.
In case you’re wondering, the price for full barrels (244 bottles) begins at $2350, depending on the grape variety.
The Wine Press
118 Quinnipiac Avenue
North Haven, CT