Vigneron – Got this description from Wiki. Embellished to creatively and fully explain what I do out there in the fields (where I fight for my meals). COMMENTS IN CAPS.
- Cooperating with viticulturists (I AM GENERALLY UNCOOPERATIVE, UNLESS YOU SHOW ME THAT YOU’RE PRETTY SMART)
- Monitoring the maturity of grapes to ensure their quality and to determine the correct time for harvest
- Crushing and pressing grapes
- Monitoring the settling of juice and the fermentation of grape material
- Filtering the wine to remove remaining solids
- Testing the quality of wine by tasting (MY FAVORITE TASK AND BEST ATTRIBUTE)
- Placing filtered wine in casks or tanks for storage and maturation
- Preparing plans for bottling wine once it has matured
- Making sure that quality is maintained when the wine is bottled (SEE “TESTING” ABOVE)
Need more? Glad you asked…here is some (very) personal winemaking philosophy and other factums that guide my existence.
I’m descended from a long line of preachers, doctors, and soldiers. Now, it’s common knowledge that cops are congenital liars, and evangelists spend their lives telling fantastic tales in such a way as to convince otherwise rational people that they’re factual. So, I guess I come by my narrative inclinations naturally.
I like that Italians drink a lot of wine out of those tiny 8 ounce juice glasses. I find that any container works, including a siphon hose. The big tumbler you see in the picture above is generally used for Gatorade, water, or Gin & Tonics, but also for wine, Pellegrino, and Rum & Cokes. We have Riedel stemware, but because I never got good remarks like “Plays well with others” or “A joy to have in class”, I don’t get to use the good stuff, except at dinner parties, or when under Sal’s strict observation.
Every good vigneron needs a decent dog. I got lucky when Honey came to live here seven years ago. We are pals, and she never criticizes my vigneron decisions. An associated conclusion: 99% of the people are NOT the ones all the Occupy protestors were professing to be, but actually the percentage of the population not worth talking to. Honey listens well and usually takes care of herself and me when we’re in the vineyard.
I firmly believe in smaller yields with better fruit quality, but also am capable of needing enough wine to consume, which leads to slightly larger than miniscule yields. This happens to be the current dilemma in my life.
Racking and filtering the solids out of wine is important, but should never be overdone. Like Mr. Miyagi said in the Karate Kid, “Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?”