From Vine to Bottle: A look at the winemaking process
Wine making is a long process and so many details need to happen for it to get to the bottle. However, Montaluce’s wine-maker Jake Achorn says there are two stand out moments that he looks forward to every year: Harvest and Blending.
Harvest typically runs from August to October, but dates vary mainly due to weather. Montaluce has over 16 acres of vines growing 13 different varietals, which are harvested by hand.
“As it is for most winemakers, harvest is a stand out, the moment when all your hard work of the growing season starts to show itself, I really enjoy walking the vineyards evaluating the fruit to pick and smelling and tasting the ferments,” described Achorn. “I love the inspiration and creativity that come out of this time of the year.”
Blending occurs once the wines have fermented and aged. “Tasting through all the different vineyard lots and seeing the nuances between each one,” explained Achorn. “As you are tasting you are already thinking of the next harvest, the next growing season on how you can improve. It’s amazing to see all the hard work come together and get ready to share with the public.”
Achorn is bringing a rather unique wine making style to Montaluce.
“I would consider my wine-making style low-intervention. I am looking for purity and clarity that only comes from a healthy vineyard. I am looking for clean, ripe fruit that enables us to engage in practices such as ambient yeasts, no juice corrections, low to no SO2, and no or filtration. These qualities allow for the vineyard to shine and express itself.”
Jake is also working to keep the vineyard managed in a sustainable way to allow for wine growing for many generations. “I think Georgia can produce wines of remarkable quality and complexity, with the correct vineyard management,” explained Achorn.
When asked what his favorite type of wine to make his emphatic answer was: “Traditional method sparkling! I have been in love with the process of sparkling ever since hand disgorging in the cellar at Chateau des Charmes,” revealed Achorn. “You need a clear focus from the start, the slightest change can have huge impacts. Sparkling is very unique, you handle the bottle many times, it can rest in the cellar for many years, sometimes having many vintages in the wine to story of the vineyard, it can even pass-through generations of winemakers before being finished. It can really capture the terrior and story of an estate and there is a beautiful culture of celebration surrounding this wine styl