Have you ever seen people crushing grapes to make delicious wine? Well, that was us. Not the barefoot grape stomping you might be thinking of, more like civilized mechanic grape crushing.
The Newmarket Advisors’ team was able to experience what it’s like to make wine at Grape Expectations as a NewMarket Christmas gift in 2019. We also got bright white shirts to get beautifully stained in the process.
This process took about a year. We began by choosing our blend, which we decided would be one hundred percent Chilean Malbec grapes. Grape Expectations procured the grapes, and on crushing day we gathered for our first lesson. We were able to taste the grapes before throwing the crates into the crushing machine. We then headed over to the art and chemistry of winemaking class with KJ. He taught us about preservatives and yeast, which we added to the large tub of crushed grapes to begin the fermentation process. We also learned the technique of plunging our wine, which you are supposed to do several times a day for a week. Everyone there is so nice that they plunge most of the tubs for each group if they can’t get there to do so.
We returned after the week to press the wine into a 53-gallon American oak barrel. This is where our bright white shirts transformed their look, with the pressing being the messiest step. Perk: this step allowed us to try our young wine, which tasted like grape juice.
Four months after pressing our wine, we pumped it from the oak barrel into a stainless-steel tank and let it sit again. Again, we were able to taste our wine, and it was very good at this point!
The last hoorah was the bottling and labeling step! 4-months after racking, we scheduled our Wine Graduation Day and began bottling and labeling! Our barrel of wine had 240 bottles! That’s a lot of wine.
Our wine won the Bronze Chilean Medalist in the 2020 Bacchus Awards… commercial real estate is not the only thing we’re great at!
Winemaking was such a fun experience. We highly recommend it for your team!