Syrah has long been the king of the Rhone Valley, in South East France. Historically, Syrah has been a ‘secret’ blending component in red Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Today, Syrah is grown all over the world. In Sicily and South Africa, Australia and the United States, Syrah’s potential is well known as a single variety and as a component in blends. For the micro-winery, Syrah can be an indispensable part of your wine program.
IntoWine recently sat down with Lionheart Wines Founder Leon Glover to discuss his foray into winemaking, his focus on food friendly wines, and his nascent wine brand, Lionheart Wines. A wine collector for 21 years, he completed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma certification in 2008 (AIWS) with plans to enter the Master of Wine program in the next couple of years in an effort to further his wine knowledge and help train his palate for winemaking. He has been a judge at several wine competitions such as the Pinot Noir Shootout, Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout and looks for more wine judging opportunities in the future. Merging his professional career in high tech and entrepreneurship, his current technology project is a new search engine focused on wine and wine & food pairing recommendations. In 2006, Leon and his wife, Jennifer, started Lionheart Wines with the idea of producing premium quality yet affordable food-friendly wines to be shared with friends and family.
Riesling is revered the world over for its versatility. The aromatic white wine grape can be made in various styles – often with a focus on sweetness levels. The possible pairings with food are wide-ranging, thus so are the ways Riesling can be made. It is because of these possibilities that I love making Riesling.
This is the second of a two-part series on making Pinot Noir. Read Part One: Making Incredible Pinot Noir: Tips for the Micro-Winery One of the greatest and most challenging wines to grow in the vineyard and make in the cellar is Pinot Noir. For all its troubles, Pinot Noir can be one of the most rewarding wines to make.
This is the first of a two-part series on making Pinot Noir. One of the greatest and most difficult wines to grow in the vineyard and make in the cellar is Pinot Noir. For all its troubles, Pinot Noir can also be one of the most rewarding wines to make. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a converted beer or spirits drinker say the wine that changed the game for them was Pinot Noir. It is for various reasons that Pinot is the great wine that it is. Now, let’s discuss how we can make a memorable Pinot of our own.
It’s December. The cellar is quiet. The cacophony of harvest has faded. The wines have completed primary fermentation and are finishing in barrel. Now, we begin the slow journey through elevage – making decisions that will effect a wine’s arc of potability . It sounds like a heady task, but following a few very simple routines can result in a successful wine program.
Choosing when to bottle a wine is one of the most important, nerve-wracking, and satisfying decisions a winemaker will make for any one vintage. For the large winery, it is a financial obligation to bottle on schedule and to maintain brand consistency. For the micro-winery, knowing when and how to...
It’s almost a cliché – the image of the winemaker sitting in some kind of laboratory perfecting the blend for a final wine. In truth, it’s much more hands on. Wine is made in the cellar, after all, using tried and true methods and careful handling. For the commercial winery, the selections of barrels for blending can be very arbitrary – a final quantity taking precedence over a final quality. The micro-winery has a much greater incentive to strive for quality, having limited resources from which to create a final blend.
Today’s micro-winery has a marked advantage over the larger wineries making supermarket plonk. The smaller the winery, the more select your choices can be when deciding to buy materials and grapes. We go on a field trip in this article, and focus on the vineyard, how to find grapes and things to look for when beginning a relationship with a grower.
When I taste a finished wine, I am coming to terms with a number of important quality characteristics that inevitably lead me back to the wine’s elevage – its creation in the cellar. When I taste a young wine in the cellar, I am reading the wine’s health and potential – how it will taste the best many months or years in the future. Off-the-clock, I enjoy certain winemaking styles and varieties more than others. But knowing and making wine are two entirely different things. The flashpoint of any decision in the cellar is not when a wine is treated or blended with another, but when the wine reaches the consumer.