Wine production begins after the annual grape harvest and crush. Science, craft, and skill all come together in the next steps of making great wine.
When the grapes have been crushed and the juices have been collected, our holding tanks are filled; a single tank can hold up to 4,000 gallons of juice. Different yeasts are added, depending on the style of wine, and fermentation begins. This process takes up to two weeks, while our production staff closely monitors the progress each day. Once fermentation is complete, the juices are now considered to be a base wine. The wine is moved to a clean tank to remove the expended yeast, known as “lees”.
Most of DDW’s wines are blended. This is where the true art of wine making begins. Our winemakers develop the formula and calculate ratios that are needed to produce a full batch of Dancing Dragonfly wine. Once the perfect blend is produced, the team prepares for bottling by stabilizing and clarifying the wine. This helps to prevent continuing fermentation, and as the process suggests, it puts the wine in a more stable state. Our winemakers will age the wines depending on the specific tastes they are aiming for. Fruity wines age in the holding tanks, but other, more mature wines, age in barrels.
Fining agents are added to help remove unwanted particles. When fining the wine, the particles gathered by the agents are removed by filtering. Filtration also removes particles remaining in the wine down to a microscopic level. Once the wine is clarified, bottling can begin.
In the next post, we will explore the final steps in getting the wine into your hands.