I’m not talking about a blending seminar or taking a tour of a winery. I’m talking about bringing in grapes by the half ton, crushing and de-stemming the grapes, fermenting the grapes, pressing the juice from the grape skins, aging the young wine in real oak barrels, bottling, corking, and of course, drinking. I’m talking about getting your hands dirty, your back sore and your mouth watering. When you’re done, 6 or more months after harvest, you will be able to walk away with as few as 3 to as many as 25 cases of handmade, high quality, red wine. When you’re done you can drink it, give it away or share it with friends.
Three years ago we formed a cooperative winemaking group. We call ourselves Hueneme Wine Company. However, the only “company” is that which we keep with each other when we get together several times during the year to perform all aspects of the procurement, production, and tasting the wine as it ages in its barrels. The “work” is normally mixed with food, beverages, and even occasional conversation. This year we will produce close to 100 cases of wine. Last year we did even more than that and next year we will likely be north of 100 cases.
Your participation can be limited to monetary, where you don’t get your hands dirty. You simply observe the process and retrieve your wine when it’s done. However, we would encourage you to immerse yourself in the process. Wear comfortable, old clothing, bring a good attitude and a strong back and get ready to get your hands dirty. The more you participate, the more you will learn about the process and the more fun you will have.
This year we are making a Pinot Noir from Kessler-Haak Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County, a Zinfandel from Dusi Vineyard and Paso Robles and an exceptional Grenache Noir from a small vineyard in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. The Grenache was the award winner last year taking Best in Class at a prestigious local event. We have access to grapes at a number of high quality vineyards in Central California. 2017 varietals will be determined by coop members who each get an equal vote in the decision-making process.
The cost will be based upon the number of cases you want and the cost of grapes for the varietal you seek. The minimum bye-in is $500. There is no maximum. This would ensure at least 3 cases (36 bottles) of finished wine.
If you are interested, contact Jeff about costs, timelines, varietals and any other questions you may have.