Author: Cox, Jeff
Brand: Storey Publishing, LLC
Number Of Pages: 264
Release Date: 10-03-2015
Part Number: Illustrated
Details: Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From Vines to Wines
The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes & Making Your Own Wine
By Jeff Cox, Carleen Madigan, Nancy Ringer Storey PublishingCopyright © 2015 Jeff Cox
All rights reserved.
Lists of Tables,
Foreword by Tim Mondavi,
Introduction: Making Wine,
Part 1: Selecting the Vines,
Part 2: Growing the Grapes,
Part 3: Making the Wine,
Appendix 1. The Home Winemaker's Record Book,
Appendix 2. For More Information,
Appendix 3. Sources of Suppliers,
Appendix 4. Sources for Grapevines,
Appendix 5. Grape Pests and Diseases,
Other Storey Titles You Will Enjoy,
Share Your Experience!,
Selecting the Vines
The right wine-grape variety for you is the one that ripens well in your area.
Being a home winemaker is a lot like being an amateur opera singer. Both activities entertain friends. When done badly, reaction can range from disgust to token tolerance. When done competently, reaction ranges from enjoyment to admiration for the performer. When done with excellence, the audience will stare in disbelief, rise to applaud, and demand more.
The purpose of this book is to bring the reader swiftly and surely to the goal of excellence. As I am a longtime grower and winemaker myself, be prepared to hear me say how I did it, but don't be tempted to follow. Rather, digest the information you find here and proceed as you see fit. Handling a living being such as a grapevine calls for skill and attention to detail. So does making wine. Both, to achieve excellence, must be done artfully. As all artists know, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. Same materials, same physical laws, but — voilà! — here a Picasso, there a Van Gogh. There's no way to teach the art; that comes from within. But if your enthusiasm waxes strong enough, art will break through. I've met many artists of the grape in my travels. All shared one common trait: they were determined, no matter what, to do their very best. It's my hope that the material in this book will help you do your very best with this delicate task of home winemaking.
The Secrets of Good Wine
There's a maxim among traveled wine drinkers that any wine tastes best in the region it comes from (and with that region's food). If that's true, then homemade wines must taste best when drunk at home, so if you are making exceptional wine to begin with, it doesn't get any better than that. There are not many peak experiences available to us for the dollar or so our homemade wine costs. My personal peak experience came during a lunch a few years ago on a sweet, dry, sunny summer day. I knifed a ripe cheese made from our goat's milk and slathered it on chunks of bread fresh from the oven, bread made from grain I'd ground by hand that morning. I washed it all down with a thick, oaky homemade Chancellor. All three foods are the product of predigestion by yeasts or bacteria. All three involve triple partners: goat, bacteria, and human; wheat, yeast, and human; grape, yeast, and human. Lunching in the center of such a maelstrom of interspecies cooperation and pregnant numerology, I never felt more at home nor more in the right place.
Auspicious years for humankind are often years of great excellence for wine, as the destinies of human and grape do seem forever intertwined. The immensely great year of 1945 springs to mind. Human and grape collectively sighed in relief at the end of the Second World War and went back to celebrating life with the finest vintage of the century.
"The secret of the wine is the grapes it's made from," says Bill Wagner, a longtime New York State winemaker whose Finger Lakes chardonnays can give any white wine a run for its money. The winemaker's role is to protect and preserve the quality of good grapes right into the bottle. Jim Mitchell of Sakonnet Vineyards in Rhode Island, who does as good a
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