No More Wine Maker...2009

In the United States we have a term used for someone who makes wine- that term is a “Wine Maker”. In France, Italy, Spain, and other European Countries no such word exists. This is because wine makes itself. Grapes, if left untouched will eventually burst, natural yeast will convert the sugar into alcohol and voilà… you have wine. If this natural process continues, the alcohol will be converted in acetic acid and then you will have vinegar. The goal is to allow the grapes to ferment, thus creating wine and then capturing it in that moment before it turns to vinegar, by not allowing any oxygen to get to it.

My philosophy is that a person does not make wine, rather they simply guide it along during the natural process in order to ensure that the finished product is one of great quality. I prefer the term “Wine Papa” or “Wine Mother” or perhaps “Wine Parent” rather than “Wine Maker”

Just like a parent (mother or father) who raises a child, wine is treated in a similar way. When children are born you must tend to their every need. Since they are so young you need to constantly monitor them, be extremely gentle, and don’t let them out of your sight. As they get older, they starts to become more self sufficient and you need to tend to them a little less. Eventually they grow up and move out to start their own lives, and you should still check in with them every once in a while, but not nearly as much as when they were a babies, children, or teenagers.

The same can be said for wine. When the grapes come off the vine, they go through a process. Fermentation begins and the fermenting juice must be monitored daily. After fermentation is complete, you should continue to check on it periodically. The older it gets, the less and less you need to check on it (assuming the wine hasn’t had any issues), because it has matured just like an adult and you are now tending to new “children” who require more attention.

Just like with children, you will have some success and failure (hopefully more success than failure), and it is always a learning experience. Every wine will be different just as all your children will be different from one another. They may share similar traits, but each one is unique. However, as long as they have loving and caring parents, they will grow up and mature into something special and so will your wine.

Mike Faulk  ~  3/25/2010