Merry Monday salutations, fellow winos! If you live somewhere in North America, it shouldn’t be hard to guess what time of the year this is. Yup, yup – it’s the wine harvest season and the best time to pack that suitcase and tour the wine countries.
In the Northern Hemisphere, grape harvest season is usually from August to October. These are the perfect months to schedule a relaxing holiday to wine country because: one, the weather is a little cooler; two, the grapes are ripe; and three, everywhere is bustling with activity. Note that the wine harvest season takes place for about 2 months each year. This is owing to wine grapes ripening at various rates. Here’s a helpful season chart to serve as your guide, courtesy of the Winefolly:
Getting ahead of the game: knowing when to harvest!
Wine growers are, of course, the best people who can tell when the wine grapes are literally ripe for the picking. Years and years of experience coupled with passion for wine have made them so familiar with the taste of ripeness that they can walk down a row tasting grapes and know intuitively when to pick. But of course, there are also lots of scientific studies to back up the “timing” theories for wine harvest. For the most part, there are two factors that are taken into consideration when determining the right time to harvest: the sweetness level of the grapes and the so-called “physiological ripeness.”
Let’s talk about sweetness level first. It should be remembered that wine grapes are a whole lot sweeter than table grapes. What’s the significance does this distinction have? Actually, the sweetness level of the grapes determines the resulting alcohol level. Sweetness comes from sucrose in grapes and is measured in Brix. One of the most commean measuring tools for Brix is a hydrometer. So what happens is this: the vineyard managers will check every week down to the time of harvest so that they can harvest each part of their vineyard at the right moment. There are times when they even need to check on a daily basis. “In a poor vintage, rains cause grapes to swell and ruin the careful balance of sweetness and acidity.”
The second factor is the physiological ripeness of the grapes. Physiological ripeness would refer to the other parts of the grape (the seeds, skin and stems) that are also ripe. When they ripen, you will notice that the seeds will taste less bitter. The colors also change from green to yellowish hues. It is this change that makes the resulting wine tannin taste sweeter. Tannin is known to affect a wine’s finish or aftertaste.
So go on, pack that suitcase, and head straight to wine country – the time is indeed “ripe” for the true-blue wino! ^_^
Seems like our wine rack kits just got a new fan – from the animal kingdom! Our client Tod sent us some shots of his recently completed DIY wine racks and along with them came this adorable surprise:
“Product arrived in good shape. I drilled pilot holes and used a screw gun to fasten. Working on filling it up -LOL- oh yeah, that’s my dog in the pic “Giada” – she is real, people always ask.”
We love Giada and we’re happy that she enjoyed posing with our racking products. We have the Traditional Series to thank for that! The client purchased some Individual Bottle Columns in unstained Premium Redwood. He put the racking units by himself with the help of a screw gun. Note that in our Learning Video, using screws is one of the ways to assemble wine racks, only that you’d have to exercise some caution with this method. Screws can split the wood more easily as compared to using a nail gun. However, it’s also a fact that screws are very reliable when it comes to holding the racks together. If you’re not as experienced though, we highly recommend sticking with the nail gun, unless you seek the assistance of a professional for the screw gun instead.
Now with our Traditional Series wine rack kits, you can choose from either Premium Redwood or Rustic Pine for the wood option. The racking units in this series actually have shallow-depth configurations, making them a smart choice for compact or entry-level wine cellar projects. Not only are they space-efficient, but the shallow-depth configuration is one of the major reasons why this kit is amazingly affordable. While you still get a healthy selection of racking styles to choose from along with wood and stain options, you can still keep everything within or even under budget. That’s why the Traditional Series is one of our more popular “kits” and now, even pets seem to agree as well ^_^.
Newsflash: your wine racks can do more than just store your bottles! They can actually be amazing aesthetic additions to your home. That’s right – not your wine cellars, but your homes. So we’re talking about wine racks that can double up as home decor as well. And as far as this purpose is concerned, we highly recommend wall-mount wine racks. Here are some eye-catching options you can play around with:
Wall-Mount Metal Wine Racks
Wall-Mount Metal Wine Racks may be common as far as wine racking units are concerned, but you can do so much with them, especially when you mix and match them with different materials. For example, you can hang them together with wine country inspired paintings or murals. You can purchase those that come with glassware storage as well to showcase your stemware. You can also put them alongside decorative mirrors. Another brilliant move would be to enhance them with custom lighting accessories, just like what one of our clients did on their DIY wine racking assembly:
Wall-Mount Wine “Cubes”
These days, we’re seeing more and more wine cellar enthusiasts going for these wine “cubes” rather than just the standard wine racks. They’re very refreshing, design-wise, because they lend a really unique silhouette to any wine racking assembly. WCI in particular carries what we call our “Curvy” Wine Cubes. But these wine racks have fast become more than just bottle storage units. Owing to their very attractive profile and flexible configurations that allow you to mount them anywhere in your home, these cubes have become artistic additions to the home as well. Check out some of our favorite creations and get inspired!
Wine Rack Pegs and Rails
While they can be technically classified as “metal wine racks,” we feel like these wine rack pegs and rails are a class all on their own. They are probably one of the easiest to play around with and create some really fun and funky wall art with your wine bottles. Try devoting a section of the wall on your living area or hallway with a “wine bottle mural” using these pegs and rails. Note that you can also play around with the supporting panels to create a variety of visually appealing designs. And of course, you can always substitute them for one of those huge paintings and have a really distinct piece of “wine cellar art” which would be a fantastic conversation starter.
A compact but complete wine cellar – who would say no to that? These days when living spaces are getting more and more restricted, it’s really a blessing to have a proper, custom wine cellar in one’s home. Luckily, WCI has all the right stuff needed to achieve this goal, just like what our awesome design team did for our latest Tech Tuesday showcase:
Project #: 282124
Wood: Premium Redwood
Bottle Capacity:430 bottles
Let’s check out this Gold x Designer Series combo, all done in Premium Redwood. For a relatively tight space, you can see that this wine cellar has managed to squeeze in individual and bulk bottle storage racks, along with a tabletop, stemware storage, and even a Humidrawer (see last picture). Curved Corner Racks were also utilized to smoothen out the room’s sharp corners and make this racking arrangement appear really seamless and tidy. Notice, too, that there’s still enough wiggle room at the top of the wine racks for boxes and crates. This compact project has certainly aced it in terms of functionality, don’t you agree?
But this wine cellar won’t be considered “complete” if it only rakes in points for functionality. That’s why we’re going to highlight the style factor as well. We’re happy that it’s actually visibly obvious: check out the luxurious sheen of those racks, as well as the tabletop. They were all done in rich Dark Walnut Stain with Lacquer Finish. Note that we’ve recently added the Lacquer option to our Designer Series wine rack kits as well, raising the series’ style level a notch (or several notches!) higher. With Lacquer, you get multiple applications of a clear coat sealant with intricate hand-sanding treatments between finishes. This gives the racks a smooth, gleaming finish and an elegant overall ambience. That makes it perfect for smaller wine cellar projects because you won’t be ruining your budget for that add-on to make your cellar look really luxurious.Note that the lacquer otpion was also extended to the wine cellar door. In this case, the client went for our standard door with no etching – with trim and/or sidelight.
Last but definitely not the least, this wine cellar also sports a very reliable wine cooling system. It should be elementary in any wine cellar project that the cooling system you choose should be able to properly maintain ideal bottle storage conditions 24/7. As this is an entry-level wine cellar, our team installed the CellarPro Mini Split 3000SH with Outdoor Hood and Remote Panel. Go compact but complete with your wine cellar project and chat with the WCI team today! *Cheers*