From when White wine grapes are harvested to when the become wine can take as little as a few weeks (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)
The 2017 harvest had all but wrapped up. Walk into any winery in the Pacific Northwest, in the cellar, red and white wines will be happily bubbling away, with yeast happily converting the sugar to alcohol. It takes up to a few weeks for white wine grape juice to complete the magical process of becoming wine. That typically happens in stainless steel tanks, vessels that can be used over and over for years, seriously cutting the cost of winemaking over using oak barrels, which sometimes can rob white wines of the clean freshness.
By spring, winemakers will be thinking about bottling their new white and pink wines. Unlike reds, they don’t gain a lot of complexity by aging, except in the rare cases of Riesling, Semillon and whites blends from Bordeaux and the spectacular Chardonnays of Chablis.
Still have o few bottles of white and pink wines hanging around? Time to drink up and make room for new wines in a few months. Here are a few white and pink wines, all priced at $15 and under that we’ve tasted. Look for them at you’re favorite wine merchant or directly from the wineries.
Sawtooth Estate Winery 2015 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $15
Boise-native Meredith Smith invests 12 months in a French oak program of 30 percent new barrels, making for inviting aromas of toasted buttermilk biscuits and Nilla Wafer. Creamy vanilla and lemony flavors combine to create a light-bodied and balanced Chardonnay at an affordable price.
Production: 1,000 cases
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