Artisan Wine Review
Your Subtitle text

A Peek Behind the Bottle

Harvesting Cork
The bark of an oak tree (Quercus Suber) is stripped for cork production


Tools of the Trade
Traditional Cooper's tools used in barrel making


 Charring the interior of a wine barrel to caramelize the sugars in the wood.


The flowering of grape clusters occurs approximately 2-1/2 months after bud break.   If the weather is not cooperative during this critical time, the resulting grapes may not develop properly.


When the immature green grapes begin to change color

Applying netting
It can lessen the damage caused to the vineyard by severe hailstorms, and when it is installed just before the harvest, netting can be useful in keeping migratory birds away from the almost ripe grapes

This tool is used for measuring a grape's sugar content (Brix)   


Botrytis Cinerea
The Noble Rot
concentrates the grape sugars while the acids remain high

Hand Harvesting
Picking grapes by hand requires a strong back and sure footing


A Sorting Table
Hand sorting of individual grapes before pressing greatly improves quality


A grape crusher and destemmer at work


  A Bladder Press
 The interior space inflates to press the grapes, gently extracting the juice


Punching down the cap
 A laborious process to facilitate the extraction of color, flavor, and tannins


Stirring the lees
In an attempt to develop more complex flavors, a winemaker may choose to agitate the dead yeast cells and grape pulp that have settled on the bottom

The young wine is siphoned away from its sediment and transferred into clean barrels
for further aging.

Wine Thief
A long tube used in the cellar to draw out a barrel samples.


Liquid Gold
Bottles of wine aging in the cellar


L'Assemblage des Cuvées
The art of choosing the wines from different vineyards, grape varietals, and vintages that will be blended together to achieve the "house style" of the finished product.

Dosage de Tirage
A syrupy mixture of wine, yeast, sugar, brandy and/or citric acid is added to the still wine cuvée in order to cause a secondary fermentation.  The bottles are then laid down to rest.

After tirage, the now sleeping bottles are placed in riddling racks in preparation for disgorgement


Skilled Remuers
Over a period lasting several weeks, they will regularly shake, tilt, and turn bottles in an effort to slowly collect all sediment in the neck of the bottles

Disgorgement a la Glace
Removing the frozen plug of dead yeast cells


Second Dosage
Adding the liqueur d'expédition to marry with the wine.   This step will determine the final level of sweetness in the finished product.

Barrel Cleaning
Before last year's barrels can be reused
, the interiors are pressure washed with alternating, hot and cool water to remove sediments and tartaric crystals.   They are then steam cleaned to kill off any remaining molds.

Hilling up
Covering the base of the vines above the graft line helps to protect the trunks from damage caused by the cold of winter.

Winter Pruning
Producing quality wines is a year-round occupation.

Grafting Rootstocks
The Vitis Labrusca grapevine is resistant to the Phylloxera louse, while most Vitis Vinifera vines have no defense against the pest.   By grafting a young, bud bearing, Vinifera shoot onto Labrusca rootstock, a farmer can grow vines which will avoid the damage these pest can inflict in an unprotected vineyard.

Spring Ploughing
It aerates the soil and uncovers the base of the vines

Inverted Sink Fans
 These modern devices quietly provide moving air to protect vineyards against the damages caused by stagnant pockets of cold air during a late spring frost.

La Cuvée
 Blending wines from different vineyards or varietals is quite the art form

Topping Up
Wood breathes and the wine evaporates, so making sure that the barrels stay filled to the top is a winemaking necessity.


Vineyard Maintenance
An organic, weed-control management team working in the vineyard

Organic Solution
Bordeaux Mixture (copper sulphate, slaked lime, & water) is sprayed to combat mildew

Soil Recovery
In some steep vineyards, eroded soils must be carried back up and redistributed before the next growing season begins.

Web Hosting Companies