From vine to wine
One local vineyard makes wine a little differently.
After the grapes are picked from the vine, they're brought to the building where juices are extracted, they're cooled and then the fermentation process begins.
You can make wine from start to finish in three months if you don't control the temperature. The way Still Pond Vineyard makes wine, it takes a little bit longer.
Food-grade antifreeze is used in a heat exchanger to cool the grape juice. Majority of the fermenting is done in the neighborhood of forty-six and forty-seven degrees.
Temperature is very important to maintain. Once the heat dissipates the yeast is starved when an alcohol level of 11.5% is reached. As this happens, aromas and flavors are developed. After the alcohol is in place, cold stabilization is the next step. With this, tartrates are taken removed.
A tartrate, removed by a racket technique, is similar to cream of tartar soup and when left in wine, it provides a bit of a bite. Muscadine juice contains sixteen to eighteen percent solids. Tanks help speed up the aging process by dropping the temperature twenty-five degrees so more tartrates come out in solution. The more of those that come out, the smoother the wine.
After cold stabilization, kaolin, a type of clay, is introduced to neutralize the juice. It'll attach these negative particles and sink them, then we'll rack off of that, then begin filtering, start out at about a six-micron filter, slowly step that down, and the last filter we pass through is a sterile membrane or a .45 filter.
When filtering has been completed, the wine is now ready to be put into bottles.
These bottles are placed into cases and shipped to local stores.