From Vine to Wine
- #1 Preparation. The grapes are harvested and then picked by seasonal workers.
- #2 Crusher. The picked grapes are put into the crusher, a machine that creates a general much of grapes called "must".
- #3 Press. The "must" is then placed in the Press to squeeze to juice. It removes the skins for white wines and leaves the skin on for red wines.
- #4 Fermentation. In stainless steel vats or oak barrels, the fermentation process occurs when the sugars are turned into alcohol.
- #6 Aging. Aging usually occurs for 9 months to 2.5 years in barrels or vats with oak chips along the bottom. Aging for white wines takes less time than red wines.
- #7 Bottling. After the aging process is finished, the wine is put into bottles and they are corked. The wines should continue to age in bottles for at least two to three months.
- #8 Distribution. The bottles of wine are then labeled and shipped. In North Carolina, there are over 70 wineries that distribute wine across the state and nation.
North Carolina wine statistics
- The amount of grapes grown in the 3 regions: 1) Mountains - 600; 2) Piedmont - 345; 3) Coastal - 550.
- The top 5 grapes varieties in North Carolina: 1) Noble - 5%; 2) Merlot - 6%; 3) Cabernet Sauvignon - 10%; 4) Carlos - 28%; 5) Other varieties - 39%.
- Winery growth in North Carolina from 2001-2006: 1) 2001 - 200; 2) 2002 - 250; 3) 2003 - 300; 4) 2004 - 350; 5) 2005 - 375; 6) 2006 - 400.
- Vineyard growth in North Carolina: 1) 2001 - 22; 2) 2002 - 25; 3) 2003 - 34; 4) 2004 - 45; 5) 2005 - 52; 6) 2006 - 62.
A wine tour through Yadkin Valley, NC
- Yadkin Valley is the first American Viticultural Area in North carolina. The area is over 1.4 million acres and has over 20 wineries, many which have won awards over the years. Here is a tour that will take you through 8 wineries of
- #1 Windy Gap Vineyards - Ronda, NC: (336) 984-39236; qqq.windygapwine.com.
- #2 Shelton Vineyards - Dobson, NC: (336) 366-4724; www.sheltonvineyards.com.
- #3 Old North State Winery - Mount Airy, NC: (336) 789-9463; www.carolinaharvestwines.com.
- #4 Rag Apple Lassie Vineyards - Boonville, NC: (866) Rag Apple; www.ragapple.com.
- #5 Westbend Vineyards - Lewisville, NC: (336) 945-5032; www.westbendvineyards.com.
- #6 Hanover Park Vineyard - Yadkinville, NC: (336) 463-2875; www.hanoverparkwines.com.
- #7 RayLen Vineyard - Mocksville, NC: (336) 998-3100; www.raylenvineyards.com.
- Wine tasting is an enjoyable cultural event that many feel intimidated by. Here is a quick guide to wine tasting. Please feel free to cut it out so you can keep it with you on hand while you taste wines.
- Order the wines. Wines should be tasted in the following order so that the heavier or sweet wines do not affect the taster's perspective on the lighter wines. The order goes as follows: Sparkling wines; Light wines;
Heavy wines; Rose; Light reds; Heavy reds; Sweet or dessert wines.
- The five s's. There are five basic steps in tasting wines. These are easily remembered by recalling the five s's: see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor: 1) See. You can tell how sugary a wine is, the amount of sediment, the clarity and
complexity of the wine, and the type of grape; 2) Swirl. Swirling the glass of wine helps to expose the wine to more oxygen, which helps release molecules that are components of the wine's bouquet; 3) Sniff. Examining the wine's
aroma can determine how the flavor taste. It can also reveal faults of the wine such as a yeast contamination; 4) sip. Take a sip of the wine and let the flavors sit in your mouth for a little. Try to distinguish the different flavors and
elements of the wine; 5) Savor. Lastly, enjoy! Sit back and savor the tastes and flavors of the wine. don't be afraid to say what you like or don't like, it is all personal preference.
Sources: www.nccommerce.com; www.wikipedia.org; www.wineintrocom; www.yadkinvalley.com.