Chateau Naughton ’03

Chateau Naughton ’03

One of the unexpected side-effects of global warming is that I have become proprietor of a productive vineyard. Well, a productive vine anyway.

So I’ve been harvesting my crop in the time honoured manner…

Trouble is, I don’t know how to make wine, but that should not be a problem. After all, I’ve got Google…

(Later) Three million pages on Google under ‘how to make wine’, so I tried ‘making wine from fresh grapes’. Ah, here’s something promising — WineMakerMag.com. “Winemaking starts with inspecting the grapes”, it says. “Make sure they are ripe by squishing up a good double handful, straining the juice and measuring the sugar level with a hydrometer, a handy device you can buy at a winemaking supply shop. The sugar density should be around 22 Brix – this equals 1.0982 specific gravity or 11 percent potential alcohol – and the fruit should taste sweet, ripe and slightly tart….”. Ye Gods! Hydrometers, degrees Brix… (Who was M. Brix?) I will also apparently need an ‘acid titration kit’. Hmmm…. I can buy Crozes Hermitage in Waitrose for about 8 a bottle. If I cost my time at, say, 50 an hour, Chateau Naughton could easily come out at three grand a bottle. There is perhaps something to be said for specialisation after all.