Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wine Not a Barn
A few years ago, I was introduced to the world of wine. Up until that point, I had sipped on an occasional glass of wine but preferred beer and cocktails to the more delicate taste of wine. That is, until I visited a winery and learned how to “correctly” taste wine.
I learned so much that day…how much care and attention goes into growing the grapes correctly, that different kinds of grapes make different kinds of wine, how subtle differences in weather and growing conditions can make a significant impact on the taste of the finished product. Those who own and operate wineries put a lot of work and love into the wine they are producing. And, ultimately, that attention to detail pays off in their finished product.
I used to only hear of United States wine being made in the lush hills of California’s Napa Valley. These days, the craft has spread far and wide and wineries are popping up all over the country. All of them are typically set up in about the same manner…a long winding driveway through many hillsides of grapes, leading to a large building where the grapes are made into wine. That same building is where visitors are greeted with a display of the available wines, and most offer tastings for a modest fee. In fact, where wineries are plentiful, it is common for groups to get together and go on a tour of many different wineries, tasting their way through the day.
What sets some wineries apart from others, aside from their various types of wine, is the building in which they house their operations. Some are set up in nothing more than a simple pole building, others build house-like offices, and still others opt for a more rustic and traditional barn structure. Those who operate out of a barn are likely to have a more laid-back approach to doing business and welcome all visitors that come to their winery. One could assume that they may have a comfortable seating area and that the building’s interior is decorated with rustic accessories. This is a savvy winery owner, sensing that the relaxed atmosphere will invite visitors to sit at a table or on a comfortable sofa, sip some wine and eat some cheese, stay awhile and buy even more wine to take home and enjoy. If I were a winery owner, I would certainly consider building a barn to house my operations and decorating it with rustic barnwood furniture.