Bella Rosa, Wine Country

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Custom Crush Pad here, hassle free! •  Macro Bin •  Grape Crusher •  Grape Press •  Pump •  Stainless Steel Bottler •  Corker

Our Wine Making - Frank Wines

Crush 2009
Photos courtesy Elisa Musson
Frank is often requested to teach people how to make wine. For more information, email or phone 707 - 528 - 2949.

Making wine is much like making bread, only it takes longer and weighs more. The process is as simple and the most important things to remember are to pay attention, smell it, taste it and keep it clean. The process that remains complicated is the fact that the observance of how it changes and grows into it's best moments occurs over such a long period.
Record keeping is an art for home winemakers; maybe almost as much as making the wine itself which frankly takes care of itself with minor intervention from us. Taking good notes about aromas, flavors and also technical details at every stage is extremely important. Most home winemakers are commonly referred to as 'garagistas' and many are not as interested in spending too much time in the analysis and thinking stages of learning and practicing. We take dedicated notes about many things, starting before the crush. For more information about the notes we take, see our wine notes page.

Although our wine making began during the 2003 harvest in Dry Creek Valley - Sangiovese grapes from Merlo Vineyards - we have continued to venture into new varietals each season since. To date we have won numerous awards for our wines in a variety of home wine competitions. The most important to us was the Best of Show Red Wines at the 2007 Orange County Fair. It was awarded to our 2005 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley from Merlo Vineyards. This wine is a show stopper with it's incredibly full fruit and deep richness. It is remarkable to us that our true-to-grape winemaking style; no oaking, no sulfites, no filtering method has produced such a marvelous reward.

Our 2003 Sangiovese (Grosso) was so popular, we didn't have any idea when we started how much we would come to appreciate this humble varietal. We made some again in 2005 (along with a Sangiovese Brunello) and again in 2009. We have also started a Dolcetto for 2009 which some consider similar to Sangiovese Grosso. During the months of August through October, you may find us involved in bottling previous vintages, doing our own crush, monitoring the primary fermentation and pressing and barreling our current vintage wines. We welcome you to observe or participate if you wish.

At certain times of year, barrel tasting is possible. We love sharing and discussing wine and wine making in general. To read about the basic process, here is a link you may find of interest. Please let us know if you wish to participate in or observe our wine making project.

We also offer some of our wine making equipment on a rental basis to other home wine makers. Please click here for more information.
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