To me commercial is a relative term. Of course there are the large commercial wineries that turn out hundreds of thousands of cases a year that probably have several winemakers that never touch the wine, but then there are the boutique wineries which are also considered commercial but actually have a winemaker that is hands on through the entire process. I'm not sure but I believe this is the type of winery and winemaker @NorCal is referring to.
Good point, "commercial" is a broad statement. Since most commercial wines are sold for under $9 and while there are some good ones, there are a lot of bad ones. I want to make a the quality of wines that my favorite, local winery makes. I can get the same quality fruit that they do, but in blind tasting, I don't think my wines would fair well against them.
I will ask. The grapes from our area tend to be out of balance pH wise. I make Cab Franc out of the same grapes they make their Cab Franc out of. I dump a pound of tartaric acid in every bin (1,000 pounds) of Cab Franc I make, to bring the starting pH closer to 3.6-3.7, from 3.9-4.0Here is an easy one. I am pretty sure most if not all wineries in WA State do not adjust the pH at all. If the grapes come in at the proper phenolic/physiological ripeness they go with it. Much the same growing conditions in your area of NOCAL maybe even hotter. Do they mess with what Mother Nature brought them?
You would think it would be that easy, but not in California where you cannot volunteer for a for-profit business. It is hard to believe, but it's true (article).Would they let you hang around if you managed to get some vacation days at the right time/times?
I subscribe to the theory. You can learn to make wine without flaws, and you can duplicate many of the techniques, the hardest part is getting your hands on the fruit. Some techniques may be a bit of a stretch if costly equipment is involved, carbonic maceration comes to mind.I want to make the best wine possible on a small scale. If I can duplicate the techniques of the best Napa wineries, that has to improve my wine; don't you think?
That's interesting, I often help out at wineries as do many others. I wonder if Virginia has the same law.You would think it would be that easy, but not in California where you cannot volunteer for a for-profit business. It is hard to believe, but it's true (article).
Thanks @Rocky for your impression of my capabilities, but I truly feel like I'm still on the wine making learning curve and that I should be producing better wines than I am, with the fruit that I have available. I feel like I can make wine that is clean and free of faults, but I don't see them winning 90+ points from a major review source. Hopefully I'll gain some info to close the gap between where I am and the commercial quality wine I aspire to make.
I'd be surprised. There are a ton of places that wouldn't get harvest done if it weren't for volunteers. Granted, the volunteers usually eat and drink fairly well when the work is done, but they certainly aren't paid.That's interesting, I often help out at wineries as do many others. I wonder if Virginia has the same law.