Monday, July 20, 2009

To Vint or not to Vint?

So, we were discussing what grapes we wanted this year to make next year’s wine from? What are the issues and what are the choices? For a small winery it is difficult to make long-term commitments with a particular vineyard.

If a vineyard can produce a couple of tons per acre and we want two tons of a certain grape, what are they going to do with the other six tons? Hopefully sell it to another small winery? We small wineries need to look hard at banding together so we can buy the whole output of a vineyard, assuring them of a fair price and no hassle in disposing of the harvest. But thats another post...

What many small wineries do is buy their juice from large juice resellers, who buy a lot of grapes from a lot of vineyards. The question we are facing right now is what path to take for our better wines and the harvest drives that a bit. Availability and price are key...

This spring we were offered the chance to buy “vinifera” grapes (chardonnay, cabernet, reisling, merlot, etc) at a very good price from a juice supplier who claims high quality PLUS low prices to even us small guys. The vinifera grapes are what the Big Boys make their wines from; the public knows them and asks for them.

For more then seven years we have been promoting hybrid (Foch, Baco, Vidal, Vignoles) and native American “labrusca” grapes (Concord, Niagara, Catawba) and learning to maximize the flavor using our old-fashioned, natural methods.

So, do we try to make Oak Hill Winery versions of the classic French grape varieties, or do we stick with the less traditional grapes we have been venting for over seven years? What do you think dear reader? You may comment below (click on “comments”) or email us at

No comments:

Post a Comment