Wine Making Journal

Wine Making Journal

            My visit to Red Hook Winery was very exciting – to find a real winery in an urban setting and the most ideal location was amazing. This was a class assignment that was made possible by a grant, to New York City College of Technology, from the Julia Foundation, in collaboration with Red Hook Winery, for the advanced wine class. Our speaker and guide was Consulting Winemaker, Robert Foley of Foley Estates and Winery in Napa Valley, CA. Mr. Foley, who has been in the business for over thirty years, is a highly respected winemaker in the industry and was in mid-harvest at his vineyard.

            There was no itinerary, so I was a bit unsure of the order of the visit. I thought we would see the actual winemaking process or a part of it. I also thought the visit was too short, but I realized that it had to equal the number of classroom hours. Regardless of all that, Mr. Foley was able to paint a picture of the winemaking process for us to visualize and clarified many important points. For example, when making red wine, the unfermented grape juice with the skins, seeds, stems and pulp are referred to as the must. While the must is fermenting the heat has to be managed to between 60°-65° because a higher temperature will kill the yeast which gives off ester. This is one of the reasons why different yeasts are chosen for different wines.  Once the alcoholic fermentation is completed a secondary (optional) fermentation – malolactic fermentation, may be an option. This is the process by which lactic acid is produced from malic acid to create a buttery flavor in wines such as Chardonnay.

In the case of white wines when two varieties are fermented together this process is called cloning. Fining is the process where the wine is tasted when it is almost done. This is where any additional flavors or spices are added prior to bottling. The visit to Red Hook Winery really created a clear vision of the winemaking process to me because my initial research did not clarity the processes as effectively as Robert Foley.  Reading from a book is not as effective as when first-hand information regarding a process is being passed on.  Mr. Foley was extremely knowledgeable because he is an expert winemaker who was able to effectively translate his knowledge and love of the winemaking process to us.


This entry was posted in Wine Making Session Journal Entries. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Wine Making Journal

  1. I am happy that you learned a lot during your visit to the winery and that you learn about Bob Foley. It was surely a treat to meat him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *