“So what do you do outside of vintage??”

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When winemakers resurface from the hard toils of the vintage period, friends inevitably pose the same question: “what the hell do you guys do for the rest of the year?”

Firstly, we don’t just sit around tasting wine all day (that job’s for sommeliers). Wine needs a lot of help to get into a state ready for bottling which requires a lot of attention and work.

Here’s the insider low-down on what really happens:

  • White wines need to be made cold and heat stable (so nasty ‘floaties’ don’t appear in your bottles);
  • Barrels have to stirred and topped;
  • Wines are racked off their ‘gross’ lees;
  • Lab analysis has to be undertaken to determine appropriate acid and sulphur adjustments;
  • Blending trials/operations;
  • Fining trials/ operations;
  • Filtration;
  • Bottling and packaging;
  • Cellar preparation for the next vintage (clearing and scrubbing the decks);

And finally…….

  • Trade events, wine shows and sales/promotion

Sorry to dispel any myths you may have heard about winemakers lying around playing ping-pong just waiting for wines to “mature”, no time for that!

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