Sunday, December 19, 2010

Watching Wine Making at Donini

We stopped by Donini the other day (Donini being the local winery I’ve mentioned at least once, and probably much more, and which I wrote about in more detail in this Donini post on Spiked Punch) to pick out some wines for sending home for the holidays (we’re not going home, but thought sending some wine home would balance out us missing spending the holidays with family and friends, especially cause we love the Donini selection). While there, we also picked up some of the other gift items for ourselves and the holidays (they have an amazing selection of other wines, chocolates, truffle products, rums, and more—the four things we got I just listed). Shopping and shipping was great, naturally. But even better was that Diego (the amazingly friendly vintner and owner of Donini) was there and took us back into the winery itself so we could see a bottling in progress. In the back room, there are huge vats and containers full of wine in various stages:
And across from them, there’s a giant machine that the Donini crew shepherd the wine through when it’s ready (this is Diego in the picture, too, by the way):
On one end of the machine, there are loads of bottles ready and waiting for wine (isn’t it interesting how melancholy empty bottles look?):
The bottles get cleaned, get instructions on how to hold their wine (all-right-y, I made that up), and then get filled—but not without a lot of corks in place:
The corks then come into play on the line, in a very cool corking and sealing area, which is an example of robots being used for good and which can be a little hot:
That day they were bottling the 2008 Sangiovese and we got to taste it right from the tap (no picture here—I was too busy sampling). It was delightful even without spending any time in the bottle, a full, dry-but-full-flavored, wine. We’d been drinking a lot of the bouncy vino nouvo called Bindolo, a fresh fruity number that is right off the vine (more-or-less), which we’ve loved for its naughty boy out of school nature. The Sangiovese is a dandy counterbalance, a more adult wine (and one ideal for the colder holiday season). I think we must have outwardly shown our appreciation of the wine, and of the care that the Donini folks put into their wine, because Diego sent us home with a bottle of the 2008 right off the line—it doesn’t even have a label yet (you’ll have to trust me that I didn’t just bottle it myself):

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