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Michael Kraft's Wine Making Story

This is how I appear when you come to taste wine. We have a lovely wine cave and enjoy entertaining our guests here.

This is the romantic part! I am cold soaking grapes prior to starting fermentation. I use lots of dry ice to chill the grapes down to 45F. After two days the color has leached into the must from the skins. Now I can start fermenting.

More romance! Dig your arms into the must to be sure that the yeast is distributed evenly. Mix well at least 3 times daily to ensure good color and even fermentation. Oh by the way, don't mind the black fingernails. They fade after about a month!

After the must is fully fermented, the sugar is changed into the alcohol and no sugar is left in the must, we put the must into the press and separate the juice from the skins, stems and seeds.

The juice runs freely from the must. We strain it and capture it into a container before we put it into the barrel. We press the must very gently because we want to preserve the freshness of the fruit. Too hard a press and the result is a wine with some bitterness or too much tannin.

Once we have extracted the wine from the must, what is left is the cake. This is fairly solid, heavy mass of grape skin and seeds. We remove it, clean the press and start again. The cake is returned to the vineyard and spaded into the soil.

And, finally, a chance to take a minute and try some of the very young wine. It is remarkable how the early juice holds all of the wonderful flavors that will be present in the mature wine. Cheers!