Old House Vineyards
It was a rainy Mother’s day in 1998 when they uncovered the 75 acres as well as abandoned ranch home at the foothills of heaven Ridge Mountains. With the help of family, buddies, as well as a local grape grower, they quickly began working to change the building into Old House Vineyards.
Today, the previously overgrown alfalfa fields are rich vineyards creating grapes for our prize-winning white wines. The 1800’s farm house has actually been brought back to a welcoming gathering place serving award winning food and wine.
- Grapes at Old House – Total Acres under Vine: 30
- White Varietals: Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier
- Red Varietals, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin, and Tannat
Some facts and figures about how they make wine at Old House Vineyards.
- Harvest is done in early September to late October as each of the varieties of grapes ripens.
- We pick the grapes in the cool of the morning into 25 pound lugs then bring them to the winery.
- The crushing and destemming is the first step of the pressing process. The crushed fruit falls down into the press or fermenter, depending on the type of wine being made.
- The white wine pressing process is very gentle as it is important to keep the skins from breaking down too much. The goal is to separate the juice from the skins without adding any more solids to the juice.
- The juice is allowed to settle in a tank and the sediment is racked off into a vessel for fermentation.
- “Racking” is the term for sucking the clean wine off of the sediment or lees on the bottom of the vessel. The wine is transferred into a clean vessel and the lees is left behind in the old one.
- Lees is filtered and kept separate or thrown away. Sometimes the filtered lees can be very good and can add another component to a wine. Other times it can be hard or unpalatable and will be thrown away.
- With red wine the grapes are crushed into a bin and fermentation begins. The skins of the red grape are very important in red wine–they have all of the color and a lot of the hearty character that defines a red wine.
- The cap of a red fermenter is the grape skins that float to the top of the vat. These skins catch CO2 that is released from fermentation.
- “Punching down” is done with a stick or paddle to get the cap back into the wine. This process is performed 2-3 time a day during the fermentation process.
- To press off the grape skins after fermentation, the juice is pumped out of the bin and the skins are shoveled into the press.
- The pressing is similar to the whites in that pressing gently is better for the wine.
- After a couple of days of settling, the wine is racked into oak wine barrels.
- The barrels we use are a combination of both new and older oak. We use French, American and Hungarian oak barrels to make our wines. Each gives the wine a slightly different character.
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