The moment of truth has arrived. After nurturing my grapes by pruning, tying, and all the other things connected with growing grapes, the time has come to convert their luscious fruit to wine. My purple Marquette grapes are testing at 12% potential alcohol, which I think is pretty good for this northern climate, and my Frontenac Gris for white wine are just a half point below that number.
The purple grapes were up first and I spent a long day picking, de-stemming, and crushing the sweet beauties, and putting them into primary fermentation. A word of caution here! This is my first attempt at wine and have jumped (stomped) with both feet into the project, having only read several books on winemaking and having talked to a few avid winemakers.
While the first batch is fermenting, the next adventure will be white wine from the Frontenac Gris. So far the bird-damage has not been too bad and a family of ‘coons has not yet found my grapes. We will keep our fingers crossed as we allow the white grapes to mature a bit longer on the vine.
I’ve begun to realize that winemaking is not so terribly different from writing a novel. Both take a lot of time to complete, refine, and clarify. I have hopes of a drinkable wine in perhaps a year’s time and so it goes as I write my next novel. Good wines cannot be rushed and good writing also needs time to develop, be edited, and refined to a readable state. Never a dull moment out here in flyover country!