I grew up in commercial kitchens…by the time I was 20 I had accumulated thousands of hours preparing and cooking foods and continue to this day to perfect that craft. I believe creating great wine and preparing fantastic foods are very similar.
Early cover crop management of the native grasses in the vineyard, pruning and canopy control is the mise en place. The combination of timely watering practices and vertical shoot positioning is the beginning of the base sauté. Bud break to verasion is the continuation of the sauté. Verasion is the beginning of the carmelization process, when the sweetness of the dish begins. Completed verasion to harvest is the time to heat things a bit and let the spices of soil, wind, sun and all of the aspects of the vineyard meld into the fruit.
Selecting the perfect time to harvest is crucial. Constant tasting of the grapes determines the perfect spiciness of the wine…more sun is like a tap of cayenne to the finish. Be cautious not too much. Crush and fermentation is a time when all of the true flavors of the wine begin to show. Barrel age is crucial…It is the slow slow braise of the wine…It must be constantly checked, tasted and topped off to keep oxygen out! Bottle age is the final step, the time when all of the components slowly cool and meld into the final fantastic product.
Salute Cento Anni!