A lot like fall. First it's the smell of fireplace fires in the crisp air. Then it's the fact that it is pitch black when I drive the kids to school and before we eat dinner. It's also the smell of grapes fermenting in the basement.
We purchased the cab grapes from Beckstoffer Vineyards in Rutherford this year and are doing primarily Cabernet, but are trying our hand at chardonnay, which I can't remember where we got those grapes from. We have 20 gallons of chard being fermented. We have almost 40 gallons of cab fermenting. Last night we pressed all of the amazing juice of the cab grapes and the color is just beautiful. The aromas wafting around our garage smelled heavenly. We plan to run the juice on both through a process called MLF (malo lactic fermentation). Without boring you, basically it is a secondary fermenting process that gives wine that buttery smell and smooth feeling on the mouth. We are very excited about this season and can't wait to see how the wine develops. It is such a learning process.