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A Taste from French Oak Wine Barrels

Tasting wine straight from the barrel is an interesting exercise. As a winemaker you do it often to see how your wine is progressing. Once a year, in March, we participate in the Barrel Weekend arranged by Wine Road and it is really fun to engage in conversation about the wine and its journey in the barrel and in the bottle with our visitors. The discussion ranges from taste and various barrels impact as well as time, which is an essential ingredient when getting to those sought after flavors in a mature wine.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Bellet – A small appellation in Provence

Bellet is the name of a small “Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée” i.e. viticultural area in Provence, just north of Nice and the planted area is only 60 hectares (150 acres). We recently spent a day winetasting, talking to local winemakers and learning about new (for us) grape varietals with historic roots in the area. And I found a Rosé wine from Domaine de Toasc that I liked a lot.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Old World Winemaking: Stomping and Pressing

I have long had a dream to make a Late Harvest wine. Last year we had the right conditions to accomplish just that and on Halloween we finally harvested the last Viognier grapes. To soften the leathery skins we had to climb into the bins with rubber boots on (sanitized, no worries) and stomp as best we could, then left the bins covered in dry ice overnight. The following day it was time to press. Since this was a small lot we had decided to use a manual wooden basket press. How hard can it be to press 3 tons of grapes manually?

Written by Katarina