Last fall’s shimmering grapes lay imprisoned in glass carboys since last September. They are now ready to be moved to their final home. They have been racked or transferred several times to new quarters, each time leaving behind any residue on the bottom of the fermentation container. Now they seem clear and settled; no cloudiness. The clear lustrous dark red wine awaits the final transfer. One gets kind of accustomed to seeing the carboys filled to the top with airlocks in their throats. Now they need to be retired. I have fashioned a wooden rack so the newly corked bottles can rest on their sides, keeping the corks moist and nicely sealed until some fine grilled venison requires the contents. It is comforting to know that the grapes were grown organically on my land and no additives have been introduced into the wine. Just the naked grapes!
The early spring ritual of bottling wine is a new one to me. I am still a bit of a neophyte in the winemaking arena, but I seem to at least have brought the beautiful grapes to a drinkable state. Actually the yeast has brought them to that state, I only introduced the two last fall and they seem to have worked together pretty well. Bottling is a bit of a sigh of relief, like reaching the finish line in a race, yet now I wonder ahead to what the next crop of grapes might bring.