The process of winemaking begins in the vineyard. The goal is to get the vine to produce grapes of uniform maturity, making it easier to produce a delicious wine.
Many Napa Valley wineries start the harvest day in the middle of the night. Cold grapes are fresher and produce a better tasting wine. It takes eight to ten weeks to harvest the fruit.
Yeast is added once the juice is extracted. The fermentation process takes about two weeks. It is then moved to barrels for aging.
Wine has been made in Napa Valley for over 150 years. Vintners in the area have learned by experience which grapes grow best in what soil and the optimal conditions to produce a consistent quality product.
Wine pairs wonderfully with food. Delicate wines go best with delicate foods. You can pair sauvignon blanc with goat cheese. Chardonnay goes best with something like a brie cheese. Match the intensity of wine with the intensity of the food. You may have something lighter with summer foods. Merlots are great for autumn.
Tips for Wine Tasting
- Does it taste good? This is the most important factor to consider when buying wine.
- Find out how it was made. You’ll have deeper appreciation for it the more you know about that particular wine.
Listen in as Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars shares some wine basics.