Wine Maker (with Sterling Kragten)

These [barrels of wine] are all your spices, this is your pantry, so what do you want to do with your main course?

Any fan of Half Hour Intern knows we love our adult drinks around here.  Social lubricating, tension easing, great tasting drinks; what’s not to love?  I’m typically a beer and wine man myself, and as such I’ve already done a couple of interviews with people that get to drink wine for a living (I still can’t believe jobs like that exist!), but today we finally speak to one of the wonderful people behind the juice.  Get ready for a lesson in the delicate balance of art and chemistry.

Honestly there are a lot of barrels that I’ve dumped, but we’re a smaller place making high end wine, and you’ve gotta make those sacrifices.
There is so much going on…there’s something like 50,000 different chemical components when it comes to wine.

Interview Contents

2:25 – Sterling’s path to becoming a wine maker.

8:00 – Schooling vs. on the job training.

9:00 – Art and science.

10:15 – First lessons on the job.

11:30 – Chemistry in winemaking.

14:00 – Bottle shock.

14:50 – Step 1 of making wine. Grapes on the vine.

16:30 – How do you keep your palate up at tasting wine grapes when you can only do it once a year?

18:00 – Having a wine not turn out well.

19:00 – Step 2. Fermentation.

20:30 – How different can the terrior be at wineries that are really close to each other?

22:50 – The things that impact different wineries wines tasting unique.

24:20 – Step 3. Ready for the barrel.

27:10 – What do you get paid for as the wine maker?

29:20 – How much can you do for a wine if the grapes weren’t very good?

30:30 – Blending

34:10 – Difficult wine mixing.

36:00 – Deciding the price of a wine.

38:40 – The region you grow in.

40:20 – What makes a wine mature and smooth?

43:00 – What makes being a wine maker great?

44:05 – Advice for wine drinkers.

45:30 – Advice for people that would like to make wine. 

Links

Cass Winery

Blake Fletcher

San Francisco, CA

Livin it up!