Ahh crush time. Time for stained feet, crush parties and of course hoards of flies. But before you go running for that barrel of grapes like Lucy and Ethel, remember that a wine VEIL is your perfect crush accessory. We love wine, and as our love grows we also like learning about how great wines are made. Here’s a great article about crush, why it’s important and a touch of history from Imbibe Magazine, “Crush Time” by Matt Giraud.
Winemakers may not be stomping grapes with their feet these days, but crush is still as magical—and important—as ever.
Story by Matt Giraud
Maybe today is the day. It’s mid-morning, late in September, and winemaker John Paul, of Oregon’s Cameron Winery, is winding down a familiar dirt road, through hillside vineyards, wondering how the grapes will taste today. At the edge of autumn, the sun still low in the sky, the leaves on the vines are a blaze of vermilion and gold. Outside the window, the air feels warm and clean, but there’s a brittle edge to it that only confirms the seasons are changing and harvest is near. Like an expectant parent, Paul has been feeling these and other faint contractions for weeks as the grapes arc toward ripeness. He knows the labor of crush could start any day. Maybe today is the day. The day crush begins.
Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em
In any winemaker’s life, there is no more important and dramatic part of the year than crush. A term that loosely describes the entire harvesting season, crush begins when the grapes are picked and continues through processing and fermentation until the last wine is safely in barrel. After about 10 months of calm, deliberate pacing, crush is a 50-yard dash that will affect a winemaker’s reputation, the quality of the wine, how much it will sell for, and who will buy it, enjoy it and, hopefully, tell a friend about it. Luckily, centuries of practice and technology have fine-tuned how the crush unfolds, and winemakers now have an unprecedented ability to control the wines they create. Specialized gear measures and controls every aspect of the process, from firm but gentle presses and crushers to temperature-controlled fermentation tanks and the rigorous analysis of chemical compounds with names that could break a spell-checker. [Read the rest of the article here …]
Halloween is just around the corner. And I know I’m ready for some CANDY! That’s right raid your kid’s trick or treat bag and join us for some awesome candy and wine pairings. A duo made specially for the spooky holiday! Check out How to Pair Wine and Halloween Candy from CHOW.