Ever wonder how that bottle of wine got on the shelf at your favorite wine and gourmet store, The Wine Shop? It’s quite a journey from vineyard to your table and everything in between.
The crush, (which is the process of harvesting and starting the fermentation process of wine) has just finished for the 2013 vintage. All but the late harvest, high elevation and slow to ripen fruit is at the wineries already. The wine goes through its first process, fermentation and initial coloring. After this action, the wine is divided up into either barrels, stainless steel tanks or concrete vats. Each option depends on the method and flavor the winemaker is trying to achieve.
After a period of time that suits the winemaker’s direction, (white wine eight months to two years and red wine one year to four years), they move on to the next step of blending. The winemaker assigns specific barrels or tanks to a particular blend and can even narrow it down to which rows of grapes go into a particular barrel.
Then the bottling process begins either at the winery or at an off-site location designed for smaller wineries without the capacity for a bottling facility on site. From there the cases are stored back at the winery for a period of time…six months to one year and then shipped to their distributors.
The liquor laws in Hawaii are very explicit stating that retailers are not allowed to resale any alcohol that is not dispersed in Hawaii by a state of Hawaii licensed distributor. Now comes the fun part! Here’s the difference between The Wine Shop and a big package store. The Wine Shop insures that the distributors that deliver our wine from all over the world do so in refrigerated containers. Consumers may not think about this process, which can cook wine before it even arrives on our shelves here on Kauai. Best case scenario is wine leaves the West Coast to Honolulu for eight days and then the outer islands another seven days. That’s 15 days in a non-refrigerated container, which a lot of the big chain stores use. Although the use of refrigerated containers is more expensive, it is well worth the cost and peace of mind when you choose that special bottle of wine to share with your friends and family.
Don’t forget, our next wine tasting is scheduled for Saturday, November 2nd from 4-7 pm. Our featured wines include CHALONE Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, Rosenblum Vintners Syrah and Zinfandel, and Velvet Crush Pinot Noir.
The Wine Shop is open 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and by appointment on Sunday. For more information visit the shop located just across the street from the Koloa Post Office, call 808-742-7305 or visit us online at www.thewineshopkauai.com.
See you soon at The Wine Shop!
Aloha, DanO and Ellen O’Connell