Winemaking 101 with Julie Johnson: Harvest & Punch Down

Harvest is one of the most crucial steps in the winemaking process. Deciding when to pick is one of the most important decisions a winemaker can make. Harvesting is determined primarily by how ripe the grapes are. Punch Downs are another important part of the winemaking process. Punching down is done to keep the fermenting wine and skins mixed up during red wine fermentation. On October 9, 2013, I headed back to Tres Sabores Winery in the Napa Valley to continue my video series on How to make wine with Julie Johnson where Harvest and Punch Downs were in process!

photo-4In our first video, How to Make Wine with Julie Johnson: Bloom, the grapes were in bloom. In our second video, How to Make Wine with Julie Johnson: Veraison, the grapes were starting to show their true colors. Now it’s showtime! In this wine video, Julie Johnson shows me (Monique Soltani :)) how to crush it as we continue our winemaking journey going from grape to glass!

If you don’t know Julie Johnson, she is the owner and winemaker of Tres Sabores Winery in St. Helena, and this is far from her first time at the rodeo. Julie Johnson, along with John Williams, and Larry Turley, founded Frog’s Leap Winery. Then Julie teamed up with Michaela Rodeno, former CEO at St. Supery Winery, and started “Women for Wine Sense”, the ongoing national organization whose vision it is to support the appreciation for, and responsible consumption of wine.

photo-3While this is an in depth and lengthy look at the winemaking process, my goal is to help keep it as viewer and consumer friendly as possible. I don’t have a degree in Viticulture or Enology and I’m guessing most of you don’t either. But you don’t need a Master’s Degree to master the art of loving wine and wanting to learn what really goes on behind the bottle. What does it truly take to transform a budding vine into an amazing bottle of wine? That is the million dollar question we look to answer and I hope you will take this journey with Julie and I. Our first video begins with bloom, then our winemaking video series will continue as the grapes ripen into berries, then harvest, fermentation, then it’s off to the barrel and eventually the bottle.

***Special thank you to Jo Diaz thinking of me for this educational and meaningful project***

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