Yes, winemaking is a yearly ritual in our home during the month of October. Even though my husband and I came to America as children in the late 1950's, the old-world tradition of making wine at home continues. Wine is in our blood. As children, we were served wine with dinner. It was made more tastier by mixing it with gazzosa (carbonated soda). Even after we immigrated to America, the idea of legal drinking age was foreign to our families.
In mid-October, my husband gathers his paraphernalia for the making of our hearty red wine.
Our wine cellar or cantina has to be cleared to make room for the wine barrels, set up the grape crusher and winepress. Our cantina functions both as a repository for wine and pantry for foods (olive oil, canned tomatoes, potatoes, onions, dry peppers and all other Italian staples).
We have the grapes delivered and soon after we crush them.
We prefer red wine therefore most of the crates contain purple grapes.
We place the electric crusher over plastic barrels. We carry the crates one by one until all the grapes is crushed. . Once the crushed grapes remain in the barrels fermentation process starts. Within a week, it’s time to press the grapes and fill in five gallon jugs with the mosto (juice).
|Must (juice) flowing from the press|
Then the jugs are capped and later
the wine is filtered and placed in gallons.
|Our vintage 2009|
Now, many people ask me why we continue to make wine - the labor, the mess, the stickiness from the juice.
In our opinion, the quality of the homemade is superior to store-bought wine, since the latter, as my father used to say, is pieno di medicina (full of medicine [chemical additives]). Unnatural additives (like sulfides) provoke fear, for vinification has essentially been considered a natural process.
What can I say, we are diehards who refuse to give up the old ways.
Images: ©2010 - La Casa e Il Giardino -picasaweb