Adventures in Winemaking – A Look Back

I wrote a post sometime in the Spring about my adventures in winemaking, from buying grapes to pressing them and corking the bottles. I am now drinking a couple of bottles of my first vintage, a Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon blend which I dubbed a Super-Teaneck. The Italian Wine Guy sweetly commented that the name is just as silly as some of the wines they have in his neck of the woods, Super Texans I think they were called…

In any event, I have been sipping a bit of this first vintage from I Due Gatti, the name of my little winery. They are terrible. I have higher hopes for my second vintage but I do have a lot of this first vintage in the basement. Hard to know what to do with it. I met a number of people at a conference this year in New Orleans who said they have never had good homemade wines. Perhaps it is the yeast that I used, a cultured yeast not an ambient one that has made all the difference. I was very interested in the article that Jancis Robinson wrote on her website a few days ago regarding yeast and their strong impact on wines, often making different varietals seem too homogenous. Dr. Vino mentioned it in his “Daily Dose” earlier this week. Thanks for pointing that out. I had missed the article. Whether it be the yeast or the overripe grapes from California, the storage of the grapes before I pressed them, insufficient or inaccurate racking, a too small oak barrel for aging, something just missed the mark. The whole experience has been enlightening but I confess the wine leaves much too be desired.


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