First decisions: the Vintner’s Work Order

If you are interested in making a barrel of wine at Vint Hill Craft Winery, your first decisions will be made when you complete the Vintner’s Work Order. Think of this as an application where you make some early decisions about the wine you want to craft. Your first decision is to select the grape(s) you’d like to use to make your wine. For the 2009 harvest you can choose between: Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot from Virginia, or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Syrah, Syrah and Zinfandel from California. If you are interested in a variety not mentioned, you can request it and the winery will attempt to acquire it. Some of the grape varieties have an additional charge such as Virginian Viognier and Petit Verdot and Californian Cabernet Sauvignon.

Your next decision is to determine what type of barrel you will use. Your choices include barrels made from Virginian, American, Hungarian or French oak. Each of these will add to your cost with the French oak barrels costing the most. The last decision is whether you want to add on different winemaking techniques that can affect your wine. Each of these will increase the cost of the wine. You can choose an extended cold soaking, post-fermentation maceration and additional six to ten months of barrel aging.

Based on your decisions, you will have an idea of the cost to create a barrel of wine. Price of the finished wine will range from lows around $20 per bottle to highs around $33 per bottle. You will bottle between 23 and 25 cases of wine, so another decision you can make is to make the barrel of wine by yourself or as a group. Making the wine as a group will certainly lower your cost and will lower the number of cases you will have after bottling. With the 2009 harvest, bottling will not take place until 2010 and if you decide to extend the barrel aging bottling may not take place until 2011.

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