Before your wine tour, you may not know that wine-making is an ancient craft, seriously begun before any historical records were kept in a part of the world that has our attention even today. . . yes, the mid-east. Although China “brewed” the first wine almost 7,000 years ago, it wasn’t the serious undertaking it became in ancient Babylon and subsequently Rome. We get a close look at the process with a visit to one of California’s renowned wineries, courtesy of a Wine Country Tour from San Francisco.
The modern version of the craft is performed by individuals who have a passion for process—for the excitement that grows with each year the bottle sleeps and dreams its way toward the day when its contents are allowed to meet the air for the first time. Of course there is the mid-process opportunity, when the wine leaves the barrel for the bottle. You can bet not only tasting, but color and aroma checking is going on then. And these guys know, with the smallest of sips, whether there’s a jewel in the making or a major unexpected turn has occurred and steps will need to be taken (like a foray into the cooking wine business)—a process few of us would have the patience to endure, nor the all-in attitude to sustain. Think about the Wine Country Tour as an exciting introduction to the vintner’s experience.