A local winery invited the public to join in on their harvest and wine making process Saturday!
About 40 people woke up with the sun to pick grapes at the Salado Winery Vineyard harvest.
"We're really grateful because we've had a lot of great friends show up today. Everybody picked a bucket or two and it went by pretty quickly," June Ritterbusch, the owner of the Salado Winery, said.
The harvest produced nearly two tons of grapes.
"These grapes were planted in 2005. We've been harvesting since 2006, so this is our twelfth harvest," Ritterbusch added.
After the grapes were picked, they were transported back to the winery where they were destemmed and pressed into raw juice.
"To watch it go from grapes on the vine, run through the machine, into the buckets, into the barrels, through the press... this is what gets me is that I can go to the store and buy wine. And I have wines that I like, and I'll try wine, whatever. But, I come here, and I can have the satisfaction of knowing that I kinda made that," Jason Deckman, an annual participant of the Salado Winery grape harvest, said.
And Saturday, people left with the satisfaction knowing they helped make two types of wine: a Chardonnay and a blush.
"This is the most important part, we're gonna add the yeast to the grapes now. This is rehydrated yeast. You can see it's nice and foamy, and I'm gonna add some of it to the grapes here," Ritterbusch said.
The yeast will digest the sugar of the grapes and juice and give off carbon dioxide that will make the alcohol. After 7-10 days, the grapes will have gone from vine to wine... and in about a year or two will be ready for you to buy!
The Salado Winery will be holding their next harvest in August, and all are welcome to participate and learn!
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