Patience in Winemaking
by Kelly Woods, Winemaker
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
I grew up a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh and A.A. Milne always had a way of simplifying a thought through his characters and their actions. The quote above regarding patience is one that has always stuck with me and it not only pertains to Rivers, but to Winemakers as well. There’s no hurry, we’ll get there…
The path to making great wines is a long one that requires patience. From bud break and the growing season, to harvest, through the barrel aging and blending process and onto bottling, over 2 full years elapse. Once the wine is in bottle, it ages for one to two more years before being released for consumption, sometimes even longer. To say that a winemaker is a patient person would be an understatement. But as a winemaker, it is worth the wait.
My first harvest at Burgess Cellars was the 2013 vintage. I’m not going to lie, I got lucky with that harvest! The previous few years were challenging times fueled by Mother Nature’s curveballs with inconsistent weather patterns and more rain during the Fall harvest than I ever want to see again. But 2013 was a moderate year, a winemaker’s dream. Crop loads were up, quality was exceptional, and the harvest went off without a hitch. Being new to the Burgess team, and knowing the history of the vineyards and the wines produced from them, I knew I had a standard to uphold. My goal for that vintage was to let the wines show the unique character of our vineyards, and now that we have released the 2013 wines, my objective has been achieved!
Now that the 2013 wines are available in the Burgess Cellars tasting room as well as in restaurants and wine shops nationally, the reward of seeing someone take that first sip of my 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon with a look of pleasure on their face, and then hearing the “mmmm” sounds emanating from their lips makes those 4 years of waiting worth every day!