Cold Country Vines & Wines

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Five Stages of Winemaking

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winemaking

You know wine comes from grapes, but just how does the winemaking process work?

Here are the five stages of winemaking.

STAGE 1 – HARVEST

The harvest stage is the initial stage of every winemaking process. In order to produce fine wine, grapes must be harvested at a precise time – when considerably ripe. Harvesting can be done by hand or mechanically. Most winemakers prefer to pick their grapes by hand because mechanical harvesters can be too hard on the grapes and vineyard. As soon as the grapes are harvested, they’re sorted to remove under ripe or rotten grapes.

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A Brief History of Winemaking

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winemaking

Winemaking can be traced back to the beginning of civilization itself. The first wine production seems to originate from Iran in 6000 BC.

Winemaking began to expand along with the Greek empire and the culture continued to spread through North Africa, Italy and France in the early days. Wine was taken more seriously by the Romans who were the first to cellar wine in barrels, instead of relying on the earthenware jars embraced by the Greeks.

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Visiting a Winery 101

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Wine Tasting

As a wine lover, your to-do list is incomplete if you haven’t visited a winery. Going to a wine store is nothing like the experience of visiting a winery. If you consider yourself a true wine lover or if you’re just looking for a new experience, dedicate a day or two to visiting a winery.

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Why Growing Great Grapes and Making Great Wine are the Same

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great wine

A good wine is the direct result of quality grapes. In fact, it’s the main factor in a good wine. The quality of grapes, not the winemaker, produce the best-quality wine. Great grapes and great wine are the same thing.

To make good wines, it is very important to have a good grape-growing process. Picking the fruit when it is mature and ripe is also important for wine quality.

What’s so hard about growing good grapes? Location, for one. Grape vines must be grown in the appropriate type of soil and be strategically located in an area where there’s sunlight. This fills the grapes with sugar and aids photosynthesis.

Vines must also be kept clear of excess moisture. They don’t respond properly to puddles or moist areas. Soil with insufficient nutrients isn’t a major concern, as that can lead to more compact fruits and smaller grapes are far more ideal for winemaking. However, the grower does have to make proper use of compost to help with the grape’s development.

Spacing is also an important aspect of growing grapes. For a larger crop production, grapes should be grown in lines, around eight to 10 feet apart. Smaller crops can be spaced about six feet apart. Proper drainage is required for all vines.

Unwanted pests like insects or birds make the possibility of a smaller than expected harvest relatively high. That makes growing grapes a numbers game.

great wine

Planting the vines is just the beginning of the process. Vines constantly need to be monitored and tended to, from tying the growing shoots to the vine’s trellis to determining the proper sugar content, which ultimately determines when a grape should be picked.

Growing grapes requires a lot of effort and time. Growing great grapes requires patience and attention to detail.

Great Wine comes from Great Grapes!

If the grapes that are grown aren’t just right, the wine will be lacking and you’ll taste it. No winemaker can cover up bad grapes. Great wine starts with great grapes.

Stop out and try some of our finest varieties.  We’re open daily!

Why Visit a Small, Rural Winery?

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winery

Why would anyone want to visit a small, rural winery? There are a lot of reasons why smaller is often better.

Let’s first look at the difference between large and small wineries.

A large winery is much like a corporation. They produce wines with a large working staff and winemaking equipment and sophisticated branding and marketing. Of course, none of that means their wines are necessarily any good. Small wineries, on the other hand,

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wine tasting

Wine Tasting as Art and Science

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Wine tasting is both science and art. And to many people, it’s a mystery, but don’t let that deter you. Anyone can learn to taste wine properly. In order to have a true understanding of wine tasting, it is essential to turn on your imagination and set all of your senses to function. Tasting wine properly requires attention. You will not taste a tenth of what a great wine can offer if you drink it like water.

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What is a Boutique Winery?

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Boutique Winery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of people ask us what makes a boutique winery different than a regular winery. In most cases, a lot more than just size. First, we should properly define what a winery is. It’s a property that produces wine or a business involved in the production of win. Winemakers produce a number of wines from different grapes through the process of fermentation and blending and aging of the juice. The grapes may be from the winery’s vineyard or, as you’re seeing more frequently, they may be purchased from another location.

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Cold Climate Wines vs. Traditional Wines

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Cold Climate wine

Climate plays a huge role when it comes to making and enjoying wines. The climate of the region where the wine is produced has a great impact on the end product. Although there are a number of variables winemakers may choose throughout the wine making process to place their personal stamp on the product, much of what eventually ends up in a wine bottle depends upon the environment where the grapes are grown and the time of harvest.

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How to Choose a Good Bottle of Wine

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How to choose a good bottle of wine

A lot of people ask us how to choose a good bottle of wine. Buying a bottle of wine is easy, but choosing a good one can be tricky. Different situations call for different types of wine. Of course, there are a wide variety of wines to choose from; enough to get the brain exhausted. The price tag or label on a wine does not necessarily determine the quality of a wine. There are many factors that make up a good wine. The first thing you should consider is how much you want to spend. There are plenty of good wines for reasonable prices. Then, these tips will help you choose the perfect bottle.

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Wisconsin Wineries-Next Napa Valley!

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Wisconsin Wineries the next Napa Valley

First it was France, followed by Napa Valley and later New Jersey; could Wisconsin wineries be the next Napa Valley?  If you follow experts who test wine, Wisconsin wineries could most definitely be the next Napa Valley.

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