We offer three different kinds of boxed red wines at Downward Dog Wine. They are custom blended in the Downward Dog Cellars of Zillah, Washington. Our vineyard is a southern slope on the Rattlesnake Hills in the Columbia Valley AVA that produces a variety of five grapes. Read how the grapes we grow are made into our delicious wines!
Step 1: Growing and Harvesting
A grape vine begins to produce grapes after its third year. When our grapes are ready, we harvest them. Human hands cut the grapes from the vine. Once removed, the grapes are collected in bins or lugs and then transported to a crushing pad. They are still intact with stems and leaves as they make their way to the pad.
Step 2: Crushing the Grapes
A destemmer is a piece of winemaking machinery that removes the stems from the clusters and lightly crushes the grapes. Red wine grapes and their skins are crushed together, which is different from the process of making white wine. White wine grapes are crushed, pressed, and separated from their skins and sit in a tank where sediment settles at the bottom. After this settling period, the juice is filtered out to insure all the sediment is gone.
Step 3: Fermenting Grapes into Wine
Red wine grapes and their skins go straight into a vat, while just the juice from the white grapes goes into another vat. Then fermentation, where sugar converts to alcohol, begins. Yeast is added so that this process can take place. Carbon dioxide is released, causing the red grape skins to rise to the surface. After fermentation is complete, the red wine grapes are pressed and separated from their skins, just like the white wine grapes were in the above step. Pressing and separating simply clarifies any kind of wine, but it just happens at different times for reds and whites.
Step 4: Aging the Wine
The wine is now ready to be transferred into a tank or barrel to age. Flavors become more intense due different variables like the type of tank/barrel-- if it is stainless steel, oak, etc. Some white wines are ready after a few months, while most dry reds need 18-24 months of aging before bottling.
Step 5: Bottling the Wine
Once our winemakers feel the wine has reached its full expression in aging, it’s time to bottle… or box, in our case. Now you can drink it!
Our boxed red wines are made with care in the heart of wine country to produce a quality product that will exceed your expectations. Contact us today for more information about Downward Dog’s wine making process!