The Winemaking Process

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Here’s a quick rundown of the process that converts grapes to wine… 1. Crushing and Destemming: Grapes are fed into a machine which crushes them between rollers and removes the stems. The remaining mass of juice, pulp, seeds and skin is known as “must.” 2. Fermentation: Yeast converts the sugar in the must into alcohol…

2012 Thanksgiving Wine Picks

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by Jordan Salcito According to historian Kathleen Curtin at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, wine, more than any beverage besides water, is the most probable libation that Pilgrims and Native Americans consumed at the original Thanksgiving, in 1621.  Hard cider, later a New England staple, hadn’t materialized yet (no one had planted apple orchards), and beer…

VINE TALK 2012 Halloween Costume Contest Winner

Check out the winner of the 2012 VINE TALK Halloween Costume Contest — The Devil Made Me Do It! Congratulations to our winner and thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!    

The Canadian Wine Industry

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Although early European settlers, and possibly even the Vikings, attempted to make wine using wild native grapes, Canada’s commercial wine industry has been slow to develop. Canada’s production of wine is small by world standards as its climate, characterized by severe winters, spring frosts, and a short growing season, are not conducive to large-scale winemaking….

How Sparkling Wine Is Made


The bubbles that make sparkling wine so attractive are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. When grape juice is fermented, the sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. If the gas cannot escape because the wine is in a sealed tank or bottle, it remains dissolved in the wine—and then when the…

Why Are Ships Christened with Wine?

Marine tradition

Wine has been a part of many cultural traditions for thousands of years. One familiar tradition is the smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the bow of a ship as part of a ship christening ceremony. But what is the origin of this tradition?  For thousands of years, many cultures have christened their ships,…

340-Year-Old Tree Made into Wine Barrels

In 2005, the Bordeaux barrel-maker Tonnellerie Sylvain (Sylvain Cooperage) paid a record-breaking 37,790 euros for a 340-year-old oak tree auctioned by the French government. The tree was the last of the oldest oaks from the Morat Grove of the ancient Tronçais forest. It had been planted during the reign of Louis XIV at the direction…

All About Cork

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Ever wonder where cork comes from or when it was first used to seal wine? Here’s some interesting information we learned from the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR). What is cork? Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber L), a tree that grows in Mediterranean regions such as Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Algeria…

The Mexican Wine Industry

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Although most think of Mexico as the land of tequila, Mexico’s wine industry is actually the oldest in the New World. It got its start in 1521, one year after the Spanish invasion, when conquistadors started planting vines. Then, in 1524, Hernán Cortés, the governor of New Spain (Mexico), decreed that each Spanish settler who had…


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Mead (“honey wine”) is believed by many historians to be the oldest fermented beverage, dating back to about 8,000 B.C. It was enjoyed by ancient people in Europe, Africa and Asia, and mentions of it can be found in ancient myths, folktales, hymns and sacred texts from around the world. To the ancients, mead was…