Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Day in the Vineyard

I spent a couple off hours yesterday wandering through the vineyards at Keswick in Virginia with the winemaker, Stephen, and the owner, Al.

We did a two hour walking tour that covered almost every aspect imaginable of vine growing and more importantly--wine making. My take away: It all begins in the vineyard.

Along the way we discussed soils, pests, sunlight and the hot and cool side of the vines. There was a fabulous discussion about pruning the vines and even how many vines are planted in an acre (900). We even had the opportunity to discuss the process of changing over the grapes grown by the winery and discovered that Keswick is no longer growing malbec, replanting that block with merlot and experimenting with vine density.

Along with the discussion of the vines and growing, of course, was sampling the end product. Along the walk, strategically placed coolers of wine and barrel samples were positioned to help remind us of what the end product--wine, is all about.

It is not about growing grapes, it is about making wine. I heard that somewhere.

-- Bob Doan, Charlottesville, VA
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