Sunday, June 21, 2009

The winemaker's notes

Yesterday we were at the local produce market, when AM steered me to the wine tasting stall.
“Taste this” he said, handing me a tasting glass of chambourcin from a local commercial winery. So I did.
“What does that remind you of?”
“Your wine”, I replied.
“That’s what I thought”.
Yes, after the debacle of last year’s wine, this year AM is one very satisfied winemaker. The 2009 wine is a beauty.
This weekend, AM has been “racking” wine in between bouts of activity on the chicken tractor. This process gives us an opportunity to taste the wine, and it is definitely tasting well, although I think it needs about another 6 months until it is fully ready for quaffing.

You can see AM’s winery operations here. Most of the equipment is second-hand, but still expensive enough to wonder whether making your own wine is a money-saving proposition. Five years in, it probably is not. When the cost of setting up the vineyard and the winery is amortised over a longer period, say ten years, it may be.
Then again, the point of making our own wine was never about saving money as such. It floats our boat, and we have chosen to afford the equipment. It’s how we choose to spend our time, and to our mind worth the expense. That’s what budgeting is all about, isn’t it? Making sure that you spend your money in the way that maximises your satisfaction (or utility) level. (Stop me now before I go all economist on you.)

The next task on the list is winter pruning of the grapevines. That’s my big contribution to the wine making cause (apart from being chief taster and critic). Last year I pruned all 100 vines myself. Each row took about 2 hours, and there are 8 rows so it’s a 16 hour, or 2 day job. I’ll post a grapevine pruning how-to when I start this year’s session


Sincerely, Emily said...

That's a lot of pruning. BUT you get to taste the fruits of your labor (yup, pun intended!)

Paola said...

Absolutely, Emily,and with pleasure!

littleecofootprints said...

How rewarding making your own wine! Do you (or will you) sell it commercially? If so, whats the label?

Good luck with the pruning!

Paola said...

Tricia, this year we will probably make about 280-300 bottles of wine. Some we will keep to drink ourselves, and if this wine ends up being as good as it looks it might be, we will give a lot of it to friends and extended family. I have no desire to do this commercially!
Haven't started the pruning, and my work schedule until the end of term is chock-a-block. I'll probably have to do this in the school holidays.