A personal perpsective of life in our Virginia vineyard... Christine Wells Vrooman



And Back In The Winery

There is something about that smell, the aroma of grapes fermenting... that yeasty, fruity, sweet, pungent vapor that resonates deep inside me.  It is said that a smell of something can create one of the most lasting and impenetrable memories.  Well, I cannot recall any memory of a time long ago where I was in the wrap of fermenting grapes' aroma, but I cannot step into a winery where that intoxicating vapor is present and not close my eyes and inhale this sweet memory I cannot recall. 

In the winery, many different grapes are in various stages of fermentation.  Our Pinot is in primary fermentation and bubbly and sweet and bathing in its beautiful deep blue juice.  The berries need to be punched down twice a day to keep the cap from being exposed to the air for any length of time without being "re-juiced" if you will.  The sugar levels are measured daily, along with the specific gravity and all sorts of other tests that gauge the progression of fermentation.  Our son, Nathan, has been helping the Stinson Winery where they are making the wine from our grapes.  He is learning and recording the process.  He has loved the challenges, loved learning the science and the art of making wine, under the guidance of Monsieur Matthieu Finot!.

It's not easy punching down!

Oh, that perfume!
It makes me nearly giddy!
When fermentation ends the grapes will be pressed and pumped into tanks or barrels, depending on the desired end product.  Our grapes are going into French oak barrels , some new, some old.  And in these tanks the wine will sit for nearly a year, creating its  magic in the dark, undergoing molecular changes and coming out with a juice that is unique only to our land, our grapes and us!


Sweet fumes fill the air
Evaporate into space
A smile to my face


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