Wine has never been a more controversial beverage. On the one hand, Grapeful artisanal wines has called it “a fraud” and Newsweek claims it tastes worse than putrid cider, but on the other, there are artisanal wines with their own fairs and groups that celebrate them, along with a growing number of restaurants dedicating themselves to them. But what exactly are these wines? And why are they so hotly debated?
At the very least, they are made with grapes farmed organically or biodynamically, and then kept as close to their natural state in the cellar as possible. This typically means they aren’t filtered, the winemaker doesn’t add any additives, and very little, if any, sulfur dioxide is added before fermentation.
Crafted with Care: Indulging in the Artisanal Wonders of Grapeful Wines
The results are usually delicious — but they are also very different to the kind of wines you might expect from a larger winery. These artisanal wines are made in small quantities, often just a few hundred bottles per variety. The wines are also more likely to be made in co-ops, with grapes sourced from other farms. This is because many of these artisanal producers don’t own their own vineyards or winery facilities.
Unlike in Europe, where people tend to drink wine with both lunch and dinner, many Americans treat it more like a luxury. This allows them to avoid the mass production that defines much of European viticulture, and focus on producing quality wines. Paul Lato is one of these winemakers. He produces a limited amount of wines from vineyards in the Santa Barbara region. Essay, his blend of Chenin Blanc, is fruity with a mineral edge.