I promised a follow up blog from the other day about the following quote from an article I read in Sunday’s paper.
If I hear one more story about, ‘We use the best grapes and best fields …’ Tell me something new. Because that’s what everyone else is telling me.”
Paul and I have a story that is the exact opposite of “the best grapes and best fields”.
It was the same year we planted the first vines around the property of our suburban home. We had 25 grenache and 25 syrah vines but no grapes yet to practice winemaking with. Paul was eager to try his hand at making wine but didn’t want to invest a lot of money going through the motions on a test run.
We lined up a rental crusher de-stemmer (later referred to as the crusher-pulverizer) and invested in a small basket press that we still use for the smaller lots that go into the Haut Tubee blend. We still didn’t have a fruit source and we didn’t have a bottling plan, per se.
Someone clued us in to a possible fruit source so we did a scouting mission and checked it out. We’re pretty sure the grapes are petit sirah and they weren’t for sale…so we absconded with a “few” pounds.
The gross part of the story is really the grapes. They are growing along two major streets as landscaping for a commercial property. When we crushed them, the juice was a dirty brown and there was plenty of other debris floating along the top of the vessel. Really gross stuff.
Our hands got filthy from handling the clusters and the fermented juice smelled like soy sauce. Nasty stuff. But Paul persevered and ran the grapes through the entire process…right up until I declared the odor too much to be contained in the house and it was dispatched down the drain.
But he did it. Harvest, Crush, Fermentation, Press, done.
Best grapes? no way…
Actually, the grapes were exactly perfect for another project, we used them one year for the grape stomp party…