Lesson 1: Roll with it

Back in February, one of my teachers at the Texas Wine School (I’ll call her Ms. S), connected me to a winemaker (I’ll call him Mr. B) who is helping me with everything I need to get started. Many plans have been thrown around about how to get grapes/grape must back to Houston from Mason, TX, where I am sourcing my grapes. The current plan is to leave tomorrow – YES, TOMORROW – to pick grapes, crush them, inoculate them with yeast, put them in a tank, and drive back to Houston on Tuesday.

In my first post, I mentioned buying 500 lbs of grapes (capable of ~180 bottles of wine). Well, apparently, you just have to roll with the punches when you are a small (teeny-weeny) quantity buyer. I was set up to buy 500 lbs of Touriga (a Portuguese grape variety), but today – the day before harvesting – I got word that the grower decided to keep all the Touriga because he got lower yields than expected. This is just something that happens; yields can be difficult to predict and small buyers are the first to get the boot.

Thankfully, Mr. B has connections and is not letting me down. He made some calls, and voila, I’m now getting ~250 lbs of Alicante Bouschet (a French grape variety). Fun fact: this grape variety was commonly used during US Prohibition because it travels well — yum, bathtub wine. So, all is not lost and more to come! For now, enjoy this pic of a super sleepy French bulldog puppy named Stu (our friends’ new fur baby).

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