While anything one can ferment into a beverage is an agricultural product, only a few fermentations are truly seasonal. Wine is particularly seasonal because of both the length of time between picking fruit to drinking a glass, and the wide array of possible bases. Seasoned wine-makers know the rhythm, but what about a reference for the rest of us? What is the current “wine season”?
Thus much like we leaned on Tom to explain cork stains, we asked him for a quick run down of the wine year. Then our guy Bruce turned it into an incredibly simple visual. Now anyone can tell at a glance what to be doing now and planning for the future.
Since it’s summer (or nearly so) already, our planning starts here. In short, this is fruit wine season and bottling season.
- Start new fruit wines. Anything from dandelion to blackberry.
- Bottle last year’s wines and clean up your carboys.
- Build up your inventory of necessary additives: yeast nutrient, acids, etc.
- Place your pre-order for grapes.
Grapes, grapes, grapes. Did we mention grapes?
- Remember to breathe.
- If your supplies aren’t all in one spot, get them together before the grapes arrive.
- Double check that you have everything you need. If not, get it.
- Renting equipment? Reserve it now, or at least as soon as you can.
- Start your grape wines!
This is the time to relax. Maybe have a glass of a previous year’s wine.
- Rack wines as needed.
- Start malolactic fermentation if necessary.
- Keep your fermentations warm.
- Ponder what wines, grape or fruit, you might want to make next year.
- Research wine types and wine making, if you’d like.
We typically think of spring as for beginnings, but for wine it’s time to finish.
- Clarify wines as needed
- Continue racking wines
- Doing dandelion wine? That’s a fairly early crop – keep an eye out.
- Prepare for summer.