Grapes into Wine

Grapes into Wine

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0394731727

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As the first to write a basic book in English on winemaking from the winemaker’s point of view, Philip Wagner has long been considered an authority on the subject, and his book American Wines and Wine-Making has become a bible for small producers and home winemakers in this country. Now, in this completely new version of that classic, Mr. Wagner takes into account the many dramatic changes that in recent years have revolutionized the American wine scene.
With the knowledge that comes from his own experimentation, Mr. Wagner discusses the new, successful hybrids that have now made it possible to grow wine-producing grapes in far more areas of the United States than used to be considered feasible. Once again he covers all the basic technical information, including recent developments important to the small commercial winery and to the home producer—from the choice of the right vines to the vintage itself, the care of the new wines, and finally the bottling of the wine: red, white, and rosé, sparkling and sweet.
There is a new chapter on concentrates for the growing number of people who want to make wine but are not close to a source for suitable grapes, or haven’t the space to work with fresh materials. Mr. Wagner describes what concentrates are, how they are made, what the characteristics are of different types, and what to expect. There are specific instructions on procedure and on the necessary (and unnecessary) equipment.
In addition, Philip Wagner’s introductory chapters on the evolution of the wine grape, on European winegrowing, and on the contemporary scene throughout the United States provide an excellent guide for the consumer, as does his concluding chapter on tasting and using wine. Peppered throughout with a wealth of historical and anecdotal material as well as down-to-earth experience—and full of the author’s appreciation of wine and winemaking as a way of life—this book is not only a useful guide but delightful and rewarding reading.

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Ontario to well beyond Rochester there stretches an old and famous fruit-growing district known best for its apples and cherries. A considerable wine-grape acreage is now being planted, and may be expected to increase substantially in the next few years. However, New York really owes its reputation as a wine-producing state to the vintages that have been gathered for the better part of a century from vineyards bordering the Finger Lakes. These lakes, which lie in a cluster in the west-central

made as solid as the bottom one. In champagne cellars the end bottles are held in place, making vertical-sided piles feasible, by an arrangement of laths and wedges that defies description. An amateur stacks between the walls of a closet or the sides of a packing box. As each bottle is laid in place, it is marked with damp chalk or thick whitewash directly over the air bubble. When bottles are restacked they are always laid with this mark up; the yeast sediment thus resettles in the same place,

that autolysis, or breakdown of the dead yeast cells, occurs, which contributes importantly to the bouquet of the finished wine. The best qualities may be held for years, with periodic shaking and restacking. But this is too much for the patience of most amateurs. Six months to a year should be allowed for ripening nevertheless, with, if possible, a good chilling during the period. REMUAGE. After the wine has been ripened and is bright in bottle (with a compact streak of yeast sediment along the

and the wine is left beneath it for a year or more. During this time the wine’s content of aldehydes and other materials affecting color and flavor is increased; but, wonder of wonders, the volatile acidity is not. The wines are repeatedly classified and reclassified, with cryptic identifying symbols on the botas, to determine their destination in the various blends. Ultimately they go into the bodegas to be fortified and sweetened and take their place in the peculiar style of blending known as

always some broadening of knowledge of wine and, not least, a pleasant evening. One is tempted to say that this approach to wine is somehow typically American. Not so. One has only to think of the vins d’honneur which are held in the mairie of every French winegrowing village whenever a visiting celebrity provides an excuse and to which every local winegrower of consequence brings along a few of his choicest bottles; and of the series of gay but instructive tastings that accompany the annual wine

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