For those of you who know us, this won’t be a surprise. If you aren’t familiar with us, this is a great intro to exactly who we are at DLA.
We take the idea of lifelong learning to heart. When my colleagues learned that I was taking wine-making classes, their interest was piqued. It was the perfect intersection of my love of learning and wine. Everyone was excited to hear about what was essentially a months-long STEM project. Not only was it a big science project, it involved all the C’s – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. As I shared the results of my successful experiment at the office over the holidays, inspiration hit! Let’s all participate and share the results with our friends and clients.
Our creative and fun-loving group has just begun the process of making a barrel of wine. If the experiment goes well, we’ll share it with our clients and friends this holiday season.
This is all happening at this awesome place I found for my own classes called Bev Art, on the South side of Chicago. Our process started last week because grapes are currently being harvested in the Southern Hemisphere. Specifically, Chile.
After a classroom introduction, our first of four sessions was to crush and destem the grapes. 18 of us showed up in bare feet. No, we didn’t! I’m kidding of course! This is a professional operation and we used a destemming machine that crushed the grapes and pumped them into a large container. We crushed 10 cases of Syrah and 20 of Carmenere. This is called a field blend as we mixed them all together at the time of the crush. Currently, we are still waiting for the Cabernet grapes to ship, that varietal will round off our Chilean blend. Once all the grapes were crushed and stems removed, we added sulfites to eliminate any bacteria that might be present. The last step of the evening was to impregnate the crushed grape juice slurry with yeast in order to begin the fermentation process.
We had an awesome time and sampled a lot of wine that the owner Greg had made. Things got a little fuzzy after Greg broke out the honey mead samples, but that is another story. Stay tuned for our next session, pressing the grapes.