A Day in the Life of a Winemaker – Layton’s Chance – Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015
In 2007, the Layton’s planted their first grapevine and two years later, they built a winery and made their very first wine. William Layton talks about how agriculture has been in his family for generations. “Growing the grapes, and then being able to make a product that people love out of those grapes that we grow, is more of the point of it for us,” William says.
The farm now consists of 14 acres of grapevines that are growing five different types of grapes. They also pick their grapes by hand. William says picking by hand gives you good, quality grapes.
After picking the grapes, a machine called a press which squeezes the grapes and presses all the juice out of them. It produces about 110 gallons of juice and then, the juice is transferred to a settling tank where it sits for 24 hours before it is fermented. Throughout the process, William tests the juice for acidity, pH level, and sugar content.
“Wine is a combination of art and chemistry,” William says. He has taken wine making classes, as well as chemistry classes to learn about the chemical process behind wine making.
Yeast is added to start the fermentation process and a few months later, the wine is ready to be bottled. From vine to bottle takes about six months and this year, they are expected to make 130,000 bottles of wine. William says the best part is to hear that someone loved and appreciated wine that he helped create.