Aubrey Vineyards prides itself on well-executed techniques of art and science to produce notable Midwest wines that stand above the norm.
The work begins for the winemaker in mid-August when the first grapes are harvested. The grapes are picked at just the right Brix (sugar level) and pH (acid level). Once harvested, the white grapes are pressed and juice is installed into stainless steel tanks.
After the red grapes are harvested, they are de-stemmed and installed in large bins for fermenting. The juice is allowed to ferment while in touch with the skins. A lot of work by the team is performed each day to regularly mix the fermenting juice and the skins of the grapes. This is one step in the art of developing wines with rich flavors and tannins that coat your mouth.
Juice and grapes are held at ideal temperatures for fermenting. Red grapes are fermented at higher temperatures than white grapes. Just the right yeast is added and off they go. The winemaker monitors the Brix while fermenting progresses and decides when to stop fermenting based on these numbers.
The white wines are resting and allowing particles to fall to the bottom of the tank. Meanwhile, the red grapes are pressed and the fermented juice is pumped into stainless steel tanks. They too are allowed to rest and let the heavy particles fall to the bottom of the tank. The deposits at the bottom of the tank are called “lees”.
Once the wine’s flavor has developed, bottling is scheduled. The entire crew assists the winemaker with bottling, labeling, and palletizing cases of wine.
Pictured: The drum of the press allows fermented red wine to drip from its innards and collect below in a pan before being pumped into a tank.