At last we are getting somewhere with our winemaking, but what a journey it’s been.
For the first couple of years the local farmer helped us with our winemaking, we were very grateful for his help, and thought it was going to be amazing… but, it wasn’t even drinkable! Ten months later we spent an evening de-corking and pouring it all down the drain. Such a waste!
“Oh it’s ok, next years will be better” says Jerry.
The following year we were joined by our Aussie grape picking friends Pat and Jeff, who had joined us as part of their European holiday.
As we picked and pressed, Pat and I weren’t happy, it just wasn’t right
Aussie male Jeff, “We’ve just come from a friend’s vineyard in France, I’ll call them and ask their advice!!
Pat and I, in sheer desperation left them to it, retiring to the kitchen to make our chutneys and jams.
We then returned to the UK leaving the wine in the trusted hands of our local farmer G, a lovely gentleman who regularly brought us eggs, cherries and tomatoes.
When we returned, G told us we had to get rid of the wine, it wasn’t drinkable, and we weren’t even at the bottling stage!
Mmm…. it was like pink sherbert.
After some firm words, regarding a waste of money and time, Jerry thought perhaps, there was more to winemaking after all… it was a bit like men not reading instruction leaflets!
So, he enrolled onto viticulture and viniculture courses at Plumpton College, he loved it, all made easier as he’s already got a chemistry degree.
Our wine improved, it was drinkable, but still a bit ‘hit or miss’
“I know you’ve done all the courses, but I think we need some technical help” said I
“No it’s ok, I can do all the tests in my lab”!! (which he’d made in the cellar) said J
On meeting more winemakers, one of the first questions they’d ask was, “who’s your enologist?”
My response to Jerry, “I told you so”
So we now have an enologist, and this is why:
Enologists are specifically skilled in the science of wine and winemaking, and often have Bachelor of Science Degrees in Winemaking, Enology or Viniculture.
Enologists combine the study of scientific principles with experience, to oversee and manage the pressing of the grapes after harvest, fermentation, filtering, aging and bottling. Enologists may also create new wine blends and implement or create new processes or techniques to improve the winemaking process.
Actually we are both very excited.
At this stage our wines are settling in the tanks, but our enologist will still visit, smelling and tasting a sample of each one, instantly picking up any problems that may occur. He may well suggest taking a wine sample to the laboratory for testing, a specialist laboratory, not Jerry’s in our cellar! He will then advise depending on the results.
Our wines are improving so quickly, and will be on sale for the first time in November. It’s been such an experience, but really we’re now only just beginning.
When I mentioned to a winemaker friend that we had an enologist, his reply was,
“I’m so pleased, but your vineyard is no longer your own”
We will continue tending the vines and harvesting the grapes, but under his watchful eye.
I have no objections to that and in truth neither does Jerry.