Winery celebrates harvest season

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ROCHEPORT- September is prime harvest time for vineyards. Saturday, Les Bourgeois Vineyards celebrated with an annual crush festival.

Les Bourgeois winemaker Jacob Holman came to the winery 17 years ago for a part time job and fell in love with the work.

“We start kind of slow in the first part of August and then by September we are really rolling pretty good, then we end in the middle of October,” Holman said.

He said the crush festival will have a lot of different activities available like grape stomping. Stomping is no longer necessary since they have grape presses but the winery likes to keep that tradition alive.

The wine making process varies depending on the type of wine you are trying to make.

"In the white wine making process you basically press the grape juice and turn the grapes into juice then you ferment the juice. With reds, you ferment with the skins and seeds and everything. That's what gives reds their color and their flavors," Holman said.

He says many factors determine how long wine needs to ferment. On average, Holman said white wine ferments in two to four weeks while red wines are done in five to ten days.

After harvesting the grapes may go through blending trials and tasting.

"For example, our wine, Solay, is a dry white wine. We might used four to five grape variates to make that wine." Holman said. "We will also be doing a lot of filtration to kind of get the wines cleaned up and get ready for bottling season."

Holman says Les Bourgeois Winery usually turns their wine in about nine months. The grapes that were harvested this season will be bottled into wine come next spring.

The crush festival will begin at 2 PM Saturday and is free and open to the public. Holman said other activities include music, a bounce house and of course, wine tasting.

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