Crush Time at the Award-Winning Wines of the San Juan

10/19/2021

When David and Marcia Arnold passed the reins of their winery, Wines of the San Juans, to their youngest son, Joshua Arnold realized that being a vintner is more than a job, it’s a way of life out in lovely Turley, New Mexico. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by SunRay Park and Casino and Boon’s Family Thai Barbeque

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It ain't Napa, but for Northern New Mexico, it ain't bad. Located on the lush banks of the San Juan river, entirely, winds of the San Juan is a multi-generational vineyard of international standing. You're watching the local news network brought to you by Boone's family Thai barbeque and Sunray Park and Casino. I'm Wendy Graham settle.

Established 20 years ago by Marsha and David Arnold. The reigns of the winery now rest with their youngest son, Joshua. At this time of year it's harvest time. And the 41 year old is up to his years in responsibilities and grapes.

We, we got millions of things going on and pH is to check and, you know, grapes to pick and people to manage. It's just kind of a, we've got our hat or hats. keep on getting taller and taller.

The vineyard produces an average of 10 tons of white and red varieties each year.

I got all kinds of different grapes up in our vineyard. Am, And that's one of the reasons why I do a field blend, cause there's a few plants of this and a few plants of that. It's all been in trial 20 years of trying to figure out what grows here. Am, And so what's happened is we kind of got a hodgepodge of, Am, of grapes, which, really making an interesting wine in the end because they all bring different, a you know, characteristics to the wine in the end. Which is kind of interesting. So what we do is, am, well this year in particular, I'm making a rose a out of everything. So I'll probably end up putting, pressing everything together, fermenting everything together, just to make one pink wine. And.

The rest of the harvest comes from Southern New Mexico. Today, It's crushed time for the dense dark purple, petite Seraph grapes from Deming.

Okay, Slow it up. The grapes are coming in here and they're being dispatched and crushed basically. And then the fruits being crushed And a gas is being injected right here. Some ongoing gas. So as blanketing the top of the fruit and here so that the oxygen is away from the juice and it's gassing the inside here. So everything, is saved from oxygen.

A week or so later, after pumping the grapes into containers, the alchemy begins. In the absence of oxygen, Yeast introduced to the crushed fruit, converts the sugars into alcohol. It's the most important element that distinguishes wine from grape juice. By using different kinds of yeast, the batches of wine, once mixed become complex.

I'm going to work with several different yeasts. So I'm splitting this fruit up into different pieces. Am so that it'll ferment at different, with different yeasts at different temperatures, am, that creates complexity and makes the wine interesting for you to drink.

And then it's around punching the cap three times a day for a week or so. The cap is the solid mass of grape skins and seeds that float to the top during fermentation, It's important that the cap stays moist.

So you punch down, that release is the CO2 and all the heat. You do it gently, So you don't crush your seeds. because the seeds have a lot more aggressive tannins, than you get from the skins.

It's taken a family a generation, to know what really grows in the thorny climate of Northern New Mexico. That's why one of their wines is called tribulation because of all the trials, it's taken to win gold, silver and bronze medals throughout the decades. By the time Josh bottles, his wines a couple of years have passed.

It takes a lot of beer to make wine that takes a lot of patients to make wine. Am, And if you can master all of those things, which that takes many years and maybe even generations to figure out, but it is a slow process. Wine is a slow process and there's a lot of passion that goes into it. Am, and a lot of energy for sure. Am, So whenever you drink wine, make sure you think about that, because it took a lot for that person like us or any wine maker to put it into a bottle. Okay.

The charming grounds of the winery nestled under cottonwoods next to the San Juan river include a tasting room and picnic areas with old fashioned swings and from high tree branches. 30 minutes from Farmington and 60 miles from Durango wines of the San Juan is open for tastings and tours year round. For more information about their wines or events or to join their wine club, go to wines of the San juan.com. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Wendy Graham settle.

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