Session 1: Your Order ~30 to 45 minutes

It all begins when you order your grapes. After browsing our grape menu you will select the appropriate fruit to craft the wine you would like to make. We will review your choice with you to ensure that your selection will have the attributes that you desire weather it be as an aperitif, to accompany a favorite meal, or even as a desert wine.

For any special occasion we can help you make a selection that will be the perfect accompaniment. Orders for California Varietals will start to be accepted beginning at the end of June and continue to be received while supplies are available. Please note that most orders are placed by the end of August. Selection and availability is determined by harvest and is on a first come first served basis.

Our buyer visits select vineyards annually to ensure that our quality expectations are met. Chilean Grape orders will commence in early March. All orders must be submitted by the middle of April. This course has a limited availability and historically fills up very fast, so do not delay in getting your orders placed.

Session 2: Crushing and Destemming ~1 to 1.5 hours

Your session will be scheduled to begin when the grapes you have selected and ordered arrive at the Wine Experience from the vineyard. You will first learn how to operate the equipment needed for this phase.

The process is fun and easy, just load your grapes in the crusher/de-stemmer and pump the "must (crushed grapes) into a fermenting vat. The session will continue with a discussion on the effects that yeast and maceration has during the fermentation process.

Crushing California grapes begin in late August and continue into November. Crushing Chilean grapes begins on the third weekend of April and continues through the later part of May.

Session 3: Pressing ~1 to 1.5 hours

Approximately one week after the "crush" you will return to press. You will begin by transporting the "free run" into your oak barrel or stainless steel tank as necessary. The must is then loaded into our easy to use hydraulic press where the "press juice" is extracted and added to your barrel.

This is a process that is truly enjoyed by all ages and images of "I Love Lucy" are easy to conjure up. The transformation of the grapes into wine continues as the aging and settling process now begins.
Pressing of California must runs from early September through November. The Chilean press happens during the month of May.

Session 4: Racking ~.5 to 1 hour After a few months it is time to rack the wine.

Racking simply is the process where you pump the wine into another container and leave the sediments behind. The sediments are then removed from your barrel as you clean it.

Once the cask is fresh your wine is reintroduced to the barrel to continue the aging process. The session is completed as you "top off" your barrel and it is put back in storage. California Wines are Racked January and February. Chilean Wine is Racked in July.

Session 5: Custom Labeling

Here the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. If you wish you can visit our gallery to see some of the labels we have created. For those that are more artistically inclined it is not uncommon for people to produce original labels from scratch. Although this session is conducted as homework it is suggested that labels for your California Wines be produced at the end of March thru May time frame and August thru September vicinity for Chilean wines to ensure that labels are ready for bottling.

Session 6: Bottling ~1 to 3 Hours depending on the size of your group.

The beginning of June thru the latter part of July is the time to bottle California Wines while mid November to the end of December is ideal for the Chilean Session.

Using our fully equipped bottling station you begin by sterilizing your bottles. Next you will load your bottles with the help of our gravity filler. Corks are inserted with the manual corking press and topped off with capsules that are heat shrunk to protect against infiltration of dust from the cellar.

The process is completed as you add your personalized labels. A brief overview on the proper storage of your wine is given. Finally it is time to share your passion with family and friends. Weather it is shared with your company or given proudly as a gift it is sure to be enjoyed by all.