Passing through a guarded gate, my wife and I, on an anniversary trip to Spain, entered the bucolic 1000-hectare estate of the storied Vega Sicilia. This Bordeaux-style winery, founded in 1864, originally was a small village inhabited by the wineries’ employees and connected by rail to Valladolid, 40 kilometers to the west.
Open a refrigerator in the back of many wineries and you may find some leftover pizza, cheese and fruit for tomorrow evening’s mixer, and a few rectangular foil packages that look suspiciously like bread-baking yeast. However, those packages of yeast—and they are yeast—are for the wine, not bread dough.
Since before Prohibition and certainly during, wine drinkers have made their own wine. We look at two custom crush facilities that provide the fruit-to-bottle experience without the heavy investment in costly equipment.