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Monday, October 13, 2008

Munchkin's Grape Adventure

Barrel Oak Winery

Delaplane, VA

With the first batch of Wine Dog Wine safely in bottles and aging to perfection thanks to the expert guidance of teacher John Todhunter of Three Fox Vineyards, Munchkin and Pomeroy decided they were ready to strike out on their own.

They already had the equipment... but where to find fruit. Munchkin emailed her many winery friends announcing "Wine Dogs in Search of Grapes." After reviewing her offers, she selected Barrel Oak Winery for Wine Dogs 2.0.

IMPORTANT LESSON FOR WINEMAKERS: The timeline for winemaking is set by the grapes, not the winemaker. When the fruit is ripe, it's harvested. Once it's harvested, it's going to start fermenting whether you're ready or not.

Virginia had a good growing season in 2008, with a dry fall. But by the second week in October, the weather was starting to change, and the grapes came flying off the vines to be crushed and destemmed. So on Columbus Day, Munchkin high-tailed it to BOW, primary fermentation unit in paw. Winemaker Sharon Roeder generously opened up her vats and Munchkin chose the Virginia standard, Cab Franc. Of course.

Remembering her lessons, Munchkin knew the importance of good sanitation. Sharon helped her wash down the PFU before and after filling.
Then Munchkin, with a little assistance from Sharon, made sure the lid was on good and tight. Wouldn't want the grape juice sloshing around in the jeep!

Mission accomplished, Munchkin gave Sharon a big kiss to thank her for the grapes, which she knows will make a really fine wine.

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