A rainy Wednesday here in Ringoes. Cold, too! Harvest is definitely over. I miss warm, sunny afternoons, snacking on grapes fresh off the vine….I can’t feel my toes.
I postponed my lunch break to taste wines in the “cellar,” and it sure is chilly down there! (Our “cellar” or “winery floor” is actually the floor of the converted barn which also hosts our historic tasting room.) A science and an art, winemaking relies heavily on tasting, on the winemaker’s ability to break down what he tastes in a wine and also to blend wines for the best tasting experience.
In tank right now, we have wines from hybrid white grape varieties, such as Horizon, as well as Riesling, a bit of Gewurtzraminer, and Pinot Grigio. (We also have our Port in tank, too. We did not taste that, but I might sneak a taste later, especially if I don’t warm up!) Cam assigned taste-testing of these white wines to our interns and me. It seemed a worthwhile reason to postpone lunch and a great excuse to leave the office for a few minutes.
Equipped with glasses, we went down to the winery floor and started on our mission, tasting through tanks from Pinot Grigio to Riesling. Some were still a bit sweet, while others had fermented to dryness – it all depends on a number of factors, from harvest date to temperature to yeast strain.
We called in Cam for help with a few of the wines. He’s got a good nose for this and a great palette. More importantly, he has the vocabulary and the memory. I’m standing down there, tasting this wine, going Wow, that sure tastes familiar, racking my brain, trying to associate this taste with the right word.
Duh, Stacy, of course pear!
That’s why he’s the winemaker.
After tasting through 9 wines, I was cold and oh so hungry. Time for lunch.
~Stacy Brody, Operations Coordinator and Unofficial Taste Tester