Today my friend Karen and I went to the Barrel Head Winery. The owners, John and Karen, had visited Quiet Walker Lodge last week and had invited me to stop by and visit. I learned so much about their grapes and wines that my head is still swirling with information.
One of the most important keys in producing good wine is to wait until the grapes are at their peak in sugar content before picking them. John is very serious about starting with the perfect grape. He harvests the grape when it is ripe and this produces some of the best wine I had ever tasted. His Concord wine was one of my favorites in the reds. I also liked Leggy Lisa and the champagne he produces was the best…lots of small bubbles that exploded in my mouth with every taste!
But besides enjoying the awesome wines, John also educated me in how to keep healthy vines. He told me the story about the French winemakers who always had the women of the town stealing their roses in the vineyards. So they sprayed them with sulfur to prevent the thefts and discovered that sulfur kept the bugs and mildew off the vineyards besides stopping the theft because the roses no longer had the sweet fragrances.
I also learned not to swirl champagne because you do not want to loose the bubbles and why it is important to hold the glass at the stem to prevent heating up the champagne. He told me why we swirl and sniff wine before sipping it and the importance of not spraying vineyards with systemic sprays. All of John’s wines are produced with grapes he grows personally on his land. His pride in producing quality wines is quickly noticed by anyone who takes his or her first sip. Thanks for the great visit John and Karen!