An introduction to wine, vine growing and winemaking
Our beginners’ wine course typically focuses on three things: viticulture, vinification, and wine tasting, in a wine region of interest to you, chosen in consultation with us. We’ll spend a few days together in your chosen region, combining winery and vineyard visits with educational, comparative wine tastings.
We highlight a specific activity for each of our visits to help you understand the various tasks carried out by a wine producer at different times of the year. In the vineyard we will discuss soil, climate, terroir (and exactly what that is), and the ways in which growers manage the yield of their vines, by pruning, green harvesting, effeuillage and so on. We’ll talk about fertilisers, spraying and vineyard treatments, and other vine growing methods.
In the cellar you will learn all about fermentation, including the pros and cons of using natural yeast. We’ll explain what pigeage, remontage and délestage are (and why winemakers use these techniques), and examine why some producers prefer stainless steel tanks to concrete vats, while others think the opposite.
Barrels will of course be part of this introduction to winemaking: by the end, you’ll understand why some wines really need to spend time in barrel (well, at least some think so), and what the oak does to the wine.
Each day we’ll visit two wineries together, ending with a wine tasting during which you will learn how describe a wine and assess its quality.
This is an example of a custom-designed educational wine tour.
Contact us to discuss ideas for a tailor-made wine tour.