On February 1st, 2016, we went to Becker Vineyard to take a tour and see what it was all about. This vineyard was really large, but is actually one of the smallest when it comes to their wine production. Each year during the winter, when the grape plants are dormant, they all have to be pruned by hand. They have to go through each row and one by one cut off almost all of the vines, only leaving 2 canes to continue the growth of the plants for next harvest. The cool thing is they aren’t just throwing away these discarded vines. Instead, they have them chomped up and used in the soil as compost. So really, they’re just recycling the old vines to make the new ones better.
The grape vines at Becker’s were 15 years old. If they are not cared for properly, they can get out of hand and won’t be able to produce nice juicy wine grapes for the next harvest. That’s why each year they have to go through and prune each row. We got to help them with pruning their last row.
Then when they make the wine, they put it in large wine barrels. Each wine barrel carries $5,000 worth of wine. There are different types of barrels. They have ones made in America, and some were made in France. Depending on what the barrel is made of, the wine in them will ferment into different flavors. Since different barrels affect the flavor of the wine, some barrels cost more than others.