The pictures below show the winemaker’s workplace. From his or her desk the winemaker can pull up any tank on the LCD screen and check any number of variables. They can e-mail job sheets out to the cellar hands asking for additions to be made or settings changed. The winery is a factory not unalike a milk treatment facility. It’s a far cry from traditional notions of barefoot grape stomping, old oak barrels and pottering around taste testing in a little cellar out the back of a hillside vineyard somewhere. But it is the reality of commercial wine making today and it feels as if some of the romance has been lost. I can’t put my finger on why I feel this. Obviously the end product tastes more beautiful with advanced technologies ensuring it is finely filtered and perfectly balanced (no dirty feet in the brew, no foul tasting corked wine with a fancy screw top…). There are still many people working together from multiple nationalities to make the wine – and having a ball in the process …vintage parties and rumours of new found ’love’ are legendary. Maybe it’s because it’s not generations of families passing on secret methods or perhaps it’s because perfection isn’t actually romantic, maybe it’s just the fast pace of it all. What do you reckon?
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