Every bottle of high-quality and thoughtfully made wine requires love and attention in each step - from the vineyard to the cellar to the bottle. Here at Winc, we put as much care and consideration into the winemaking as possible to ensure that our customers are getting a great bottle of wine.
Although Mother Nature is often the supreme authority when working in agriculture, as a winemaker, it is you who must remain vigilant of her whims. In the process of making wine, there lies an intertwined realm between human-feigned control and a gulf of natural unknowns. For Winc, this process is what makes wine mysterious and beautiful.
A winemaker acts as a guide or “shepherd” of a practice that’s almost as ancient and nuanced as civilization. As with many enduring crafts, there is an incalculable combination of techniques, styles, and philosophies that define the result. While there is no true ownership of the process, there are a few basic laws that we feel have a heavy hand in great winemaking. We break down each step of our process below, so you know exactly what goes into each and every Winc bottle of wine. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Use quality grapes.
When it comes to the tender, loving care of making wine there’s nothing more important than quality grapes. A significant amount of our winemaking team’s labor is focused on discovering vineyards of renown and building relationships with viticulturists we respect. Starting with excellent fruit illuminates the rest of a wine’s life.
Pick at the right time.
We begin with the end in mind. Before the grapes ripen it’s essential to know the type of wine you are set out to make. Many inner and outer dialogues ultimately lead to one definitive decision: when to pick the grapes. This sets the tone for the entire winemaking process and has the largest influence on the overall style of a wine.
Manage the fermentation.
There’s no requirement of the use of a commercial yeast or adherence to a rigid punch down schedule (though sometimes those can be a good strategy), simply stated, there’s just the element of paying attention. This part of the winemaking process is about being a good listener and noticing what a ferment needs. We’re proactive where we can be and reactive only if need be. If the nutrient levels are low: we lend it some. If the ferment needs to be calmed: we cool it down. We taste every day, take diligent notes, and are critical and honest about the wine that’s beginning to form.
Give it time.
The industry often calls this process “maturation.” As the word suggests, it’s simply the wine maturing. Just like the people that enjoy it, wines go through an awkward stage that only time can resolve. To come of age, wines require different vessels for variable amounts of time. Some wines call for the easing oxidation of a porous oak barrel, others benefit from the tight, polished environment of stainless steel. Whatever the maturation, it’s important to match a wine with the proper vessel for the appropriate amount of time.
Bottle when ready.
This is when all of the flavors, aromas, textures, colors and impressions of a wine are locked into place. The wine will slowly change over time, but this initial lock is key in conveying the wine you intended to make. Sometimes it coalesces into something different than anticipated so, again, listening becomes key in putting it to bottle at the right time.
At Winc, wine is an expression of place, time, and intent. And it’s meant for pleasure. There is so much more to each wine than words can communicate, but distilling the fundamentals gives a framework for the beautiful, and love-filled, process of making great wine. Once the winemaking is done, it’s your turn to spread some TLC and share your favorite bottles with the ones you love. We’ll cheers to that.