Continuing our series of activities here on the Swan Creek Wine Trail, we wanted to devote one segment of our blog to one very important activity: winemaking. Winemaking is the process of taking fruit, fermenting the juices, blending the wines, and then aging the finished product for a time before it’s ready to make its way to the tasting room. This post is dedicated to our winemakers on the trail to showcase some of what goes on behind the scenes to make the perfect red blend.
Here on the Swan Creek Wine Trail, we are fortunate to have great quality fruit that will turn into great quality wine. There are several key factors that go into making the perfect blend. Here are some of the things our winemakers look for.
With a red blend, there should be some level of consistency from year to year. If the profile of the wine is supposed to be a bold barrel aged red, then that’s what you make from year to year. Since harvests can be variable from year to year, our blends may change slightly. However, if we experience a poor growing year, it’s not uncommon to skip a vintage. And that’s ok! We would rather wait to make the best wine rather than put out a lesser quality wine.
Be True to the Grape
To some extent, wines should taste like the grapes that are in the wine. Each grape has their own flavor profile and aromas. It’s no use trying to make a wine taste like something it’s not. Using too much oak or too many extras may mask the grapes and detract from the flavors.
Texture, Flavor, and Feel
All three components are essential in the life of a wine. Building texture is often done by blending different wines together. When blending, it’s important that the combined wine should be better than the individual components. Overall it’s important to bring out the best of each grape to create a finished wine that really sings.
Want to try one for yourself? Head on over to any of our vineyards and try a red blend for yourself. Here are a few options to consider.
Our Red Blends
Ram Cat Red from Dobbins Creek – An intriguing wine that merges the individual complexities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot to create a tasting sensation of dark berries intermixed with touches of spice and earthiness. Try this wine with your favorite grilled meats, barbecue and wood fired pizzas!
Scarlet Mountain from Laurel Gray – The richness of ripe red cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and buttered toast delight the senses. Customer Favorite! Serve Scarlet Mountain with grilled burgers, pizza, Italian dishes, (It really goes with almost anything!)
Meritage from Shadow Springs – This is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. With almost 2 years in the barrel it is a big wine with great flavor and a wonderful finish.
Judge’s Verdict from Windsor Run – Blackberries, plums, and Dark Cherry Jam, smoothed by silky soft tannins burst upon the palate, eventually giving way to an almost European minerality and pleasant earthy finish.