The key to any good bottle of wine is high quality grapes. Barrister winery in downtown Spokane will use 85 tons of them to create 60,000 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and more.�
"We get our grapes basically from the Columbia River Basin. Walla Walla on the East side, all the way to Tri-Cities and Prosser and up to Mattawa," says Barrister winemaker Michael White.
The "crush" is a time honored tradition in wine making. When the grapes finally arrive and begin their journey to your glass.
First, rocks and debris are removed by hand before the de-stemming process begins, which requires a specialized machine.
From there, the grapes are gently crushed between two automated rollers.
"We try to adjust it so it just kisses the grapes and pops them open. We don't want to damage those skins because that's where the tannin comes from. We like our wines to have soft, gentle tannins," says White's wine making partner Greg Lipsker.
The grapes now resemble raisins. During fermentation, yeast converts the sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide.