Klingshirn Winery

33050 Webber Road. • Avon Lake, Ohio 44012 • (440) 933-6666

A Family Tradition of Excellence Since 1935


Virtual Tour of the Winemaking Process

 


The long road to our finest wines begins in our own vineyards. Finding the varieties with optimal growing potential then capitalizing on them through attention to the details brings us our greatest success.

The latest planting here as pictured above was the spring of 2004. The one-year-old pinot grigio vines from the New York nursery were planted late in the wet spring and will probably require four years of care before we harvest a moderate crop in 2008. The plastic tubes are vine guards, which aid the young vine in growing a straight trunk and minimizing weed competition.

Every year in the spring after the vines have been trimmed of excess previous years growth, they are retied to the wires for support in the fruiting season. Other hand operations through the year include suckering, shoot positioning and leaf thinning.

 

In addition to the hand work, the tractors will cover the acreage a number of times over the course of the season, including brush chopping, herbicide spraying, fungicide spraying, fertilization, cultivation, mowing and harvest.


Once the grapes are harvested in the field, the forklift handles the bulk bins back on the farm.


Typically, a bin of grapes will weigh in at 2200 lbs net. A large scale is used to weigh each bin as it arrives on the premise for accurate yield records.

The bins are placed on a dumping table, which hydraulically tips the bins over into a hopper, helped and controlled with some raking.

The hopper is augured into a vertical destemmer, which removes stems and material other than grapes while the berries and juice are pulled off by a large must pump and conveyed to the press.


The press is filled through the hatches, and juice free runs out of the basket through small slits all around. Once the basket is full, lids are placed on to close the basket, and it will slowly revolve, tumbling the grapes and slowly compressing the cake as one end bulkhead winds down to the other end along a threaded central spindle, all the while juice continues to escape through the small slits.

The juice then falls through screens into a tray, to flow into a basement-cooling tank. Most juices are chilled to inhibit wild fermentations and allow settling of insoluble solids from the juice.

After settling, the juice is transferred to a fermentation tank with the addition of wine yeast and some sugar to adjust the potential alcohol of the juice. The alcoholic fermentation will take two to six weeks to complete, then the new wine is pumped over to clean tanks and allowed to settle clear again for future blending. Typically, all the new wines are finished and blended into next year’s batches by January 1st to allow complete cold stabilization to occur during the coldest months of the winter. Cold stabilization is the formation of tarter crystals from tartaric acid in the wine at cold temperatures. If we didn’t do it in the tank, it would occur in the bottle in your refrigerator, and that is anesthetically pleasing.


Most of our tanks are stainless steel, yet we still have some large oak casks for storage. Smaller oak barrels are used in aging Chardonnay and Cabernet.
As winter wanes, the wines are transferred one last time to clean tanks, if necessary, through a diatomaceous earth filter (shown above) for added stability and clarity. Anytime after that, any of these wines are ready to be bottled.


In preparation of bottling, the wine is once more passed through a filter, this time a plate and frame type for a pad filtration. This will nominally remove all particulate material down to a half micron, and provide the wine with a clean polish and microbial stability for its duration in the bottle.


Our bottling line is a simple manually operated six spout siphon filler. The small tank reservoir is maintained at a constant level by a float valve, and filling tubes siphon the wine into the glass and fill only to the height maintained in the reservoir.

Once the bottle is removed, a closure is placed on by hand, and our old style cold glue picker type labeler applies a heat seal and the product label.


Finally, the wine is ready to pass into our retail room and into the hands of the most important people here, our customers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of winemaking at Klingshirn winery.