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Trip to the US: The Cooper-Garrod Vineyard Tour & Wine Tasting (Part 1)

>> Sunday, May 26, 2013

*yeah, I know, this is a delayed post....I didn't have time to blog.... :(

On a sunny Sunday morning 2 weeks ago, KW & I took the opportunity to visit a nearby vineyard i.e. Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyard to learn more on grapes planting & harvesting for wine-making. The journey to Mount Eden took us approximately half an hour from our hotel. It's an "uphill" journey & kinda scenic as well.

Upon arriving at the vineyard's carpark, we were directed to the "introduction" session, where the story of how Cooper-Garrod was established was shared.

Doris Cooper sharing some information on how the business began

Bill Cooper, the guy behind the wine-making & sales

They've horses too...
That's where part of the fertilizers come from :P

We were guided to the nearest plot of vines. The grapes aren't in full-bloom yet, but the vines were growing steadily with the sunlight throughout the day & some cool air as well. The grapes will only be harvested around August-September (summer), depending on the weather & season.

There are basically 2 ways of planting vine: lateral & horizontal. Both ways have its pros & cons, so Cooper-Garrod does a mixture of both ways.

Lateral way of planting...

Grapes, when they're "babies" are all green, but as they grow, their skin will turn to the color that they're supposed to be. If I'm not mistaken, this one is a green grape for Chardonnay (white wine).

The vines require much sunlight to grow, but too much of scorching heat will cause the grapes to turn into raisins. So the grapes will always require the shade of the leaves to protect them while they grow into full-grown grapes for wine-making. The workers of the vineyard will pop-by to check the vines & ensure that the grapes grow healthily :)

Pretty flowers around the vineyard :P

Another part of the vineyard...must look lovely during summer!

After touring the vineyard & standing in the scorching hot sun for half an hour or more, Bill took us to the area where the grapes get processed for their juice. Both the red grapes & white grapes are processed differently. The red grapes need to be processed with the skin since the red color comes from the skin, whereas the green grapes for white wine just requires the flesh/juice without the grapes' skin.

The percentage of sugar plays a large part in the type & taste of wine that is produced. During the process of fermentation, sugars are broken down and converted by yeast into alcohol (ethanol) and carbon dioxide [wikipedia]. If I'm not mistaken, more sugar = higher alcohol content, but most of the time, the grapes won't be as sweet as "table grapes" where you can just pop into your mouth as fruits.

The final process is storage, where all the fermented juice a.k.a. wine, is placed into wooden barrels. Different barrels would give different taste as well! Most of the barrels have oak tops.

Thus ends the process of wine-making. It's actually a long process that takes days & months. I'm glad we came over to learn up a little bit more on wine-making since we'll never get to do such a thing in Malaysia!

Up next, I will be sharing on wine-tasting ;) Stay tuned!

Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards
22645 Garrod Rd‎
Saratoga, CA 95070
United States of America
Toll Free: (+1) (877) 923 4616

Directions: Map here

I love wine,


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