In natural winemaking, the approach is simple: do less and respect more. It's about letting the wild yeasts do their work, embracing the unpredictable and unique nature of each batch.
In the early hours at a vineyard located in Jamul, California, the process of winemaking commences with the manual harvesting of grapes. The procedure involves collecting approximately 1000 pounds of grapes, a quantity that is a small segment of the annual production of 100,000 tons of grape pomace.
Upon transportation of the harvested grapes to Los Angeles, the next stage involves the crushing of grapes. This step initiates the natural fermentation process, characterized by minimal human intervention, allowing the inherent properties of the grapes to dictate the fermentation dynamics. Post a fermentation period of approximately two weeks, the grapes undergo a pressing phase. This mechanical pressing extracts juice from the fermented grapes, which is then relocated to metal kegs for additional maturation.
The by-product of this process, grape pomace, which is rich in various natural compounds, is repurposed as a dye for textiles. This application of pomace as a dye illustrates a secondary utilization of winemaking by-products. However, the process of dye production is intricate due to the subtle nature of the color yield and its consistency. Despite these challenges, the substantial volume of pomace produced facilitates the achievement of the desired color shades through meticulous application techniques.
Special thanks to Nick Fisher
And a beautiful farm which choose to remain unnamed.