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How does COVID-19 impact Production at English Newsom Cellars?
While the pandemic has done little to affect the actual vineyard side of the business — grape vines are just starting their journey to producing fruit — it has devastated wine tourism and sales across the nation.
All in all, the good news is that production will still continue. The grapes will grow and get harvested.
So — assuming this virus is still around in the fall, winemaking should be business as usual. It’s the selling of the wine that will be a challenge for the entire industry for the foreseeable future.
English Newsom Cellars is offering wine specials in order to make room for new inventory and to bring a little bit of joy to your lives through wine during this difficult time.
Stay local, Shop local and Spend local
Drink well and stay safe!
English Newsom Cellars Team
Grape Growing & Harvest Season
The Fruits of Our Labor
The Newsom family strives to consistently produce the finest quality wine grapes for English Newsom Cellars to make premium quality wines. Using sustainable farming practices that are both environmentally friendly and socially responsible, we strive to not only minimize the use of chemicals and groundwater, but to do so in a way that gives our customers the confidence that year after year we will deliver both quality and yields to support and grow both the Texas Wine Industry and also the Texas economy. Producing wine on our own premises and with our own grapes allows us to have complete control over all aspects of the winemaking process.
The Newsom’s tirelessly work all year to prepare the fruit and the vine, striking the ideal balance of sugar and acids. During harvest the focus changes from grape growing to the juice.
From the time the fruit sets, the Newsom’s are thinking about how to coax nature into providing the best juice to make wine.
For English Newsom Cellars, our harvest season typically begins in September and lasts through October. Of course, this varies from year to year based on variables like weather.
Harvest primarily depends on the balance of sugar and acid in the grape. Grape growers are occasionally forced to pick before the grapes are ripe if the weather begins to cool or heavy rains are expected which can cause bunches to rot or absorb too much liquid and burst. Assuming weather isn’t a contributor, there is still a fair amount of guesswork because grapes don’t ripen uniformly. Even grapes within a single bunch can range from over ripe to under ripe. The Newsom’s are looking for the balance of what the section of vineyard will produce when mixed together.
Our smaller Estate vineyards of Tempranillo and Malbec varietals are hand picked grapes but the larger vineyards in Hockley County, use mechanical harvesting machines.
Harvest is an exciting time at any winery. The smell of freshly picked wine grapes fill the air, and all hands are on deck.
Harvest Season at English Newsom Cellars
1. Freshly harvested grape clusters arrive at the winery in half-ton bins called macro bins. The bins are emptied into a hopper and the grapes move up an incline before dropping onto the sorting table.
2. On the sorting table, several members of the cellar team remove MOG (matter other than grape) by hand.
3. The clusters fall off the sorting table into a second hopper and onto another incline that leads to the destemmer. Stems are removed and the loose grapes fall through to a third hopper where they are gently crushed.
4. The gently crushed grapes are then put into tanks. Now, primary fermentation (converting the juice into wine) will begin.
5. Primary fermentation can take two or more weeks. During this time, the winemaking team tastes each tank daily to see how the wines are progressing. Once primary fermentation is complete, the juice is technically wine—but it still has a long way to go before it becomes the English Newsom Cellars wine that you know and love. The winemaking team also makes decisions about pressing at this time.
6. Pressing is the process of removing any remaining wine from the grape skins. When the winemaking team has decided which tanks to press, the skins are dug out by hand (an incredibly labor-intensive process) and put through the press.
7. In the press, all remaining wine is pressed off the grape skins.
8. With pressing complete and all the wine in tank, malolactic fermentation is initiated. After malolactic fermentation, the wines will rest in in their tanks for a few more months where they are racked until it’s time to make the final blend in January.
Cheers to our hard-working winemaking and cellar teams!
While the bottling line may not evoke the same sense of romanticism that say harvest or barrel aging do, its precise execution is imperative to capturing the essence of the particular vintage, grape varietal, and the winemaker’s style. It is the final stage of the winemaking process and the last time our winemaking team at English Newsom Cellars can touch the wine before sending it out into the world.
Our winemaker, David Mueller, spends months of dedicated work of attaining certain aromas, flavors, and textures in a wine can be completely undone if proper care is not taken when bottling. The proper equipment and professional crew are necessary to maintain quality control of our precious cargo. Thankfully Roman Cuevas and our production crew are very well trained on our in-house bottling line and they treat every stage of the winemaking process with equal importance.
From vine to bottle, we nurture our wine through it all. It’s rewarding to see our hard work come to fruition as each bottle undergoes a rite of passage on the bottling line and out into the world.
Sun & Mon: By Appointment Only
Tues & Wed: 1PM-6PM
Fri: 1PM- 9PM