No wine tasting or even a subscription to Wine Spectator can teach wine enthusiasts more than a few hours visit to the vineyard. The ultimate experience is to tour a vineyard and then spend time with the winemaker.
Through four years of writing about wine, it’s an opportunity I’ve been afforded on a number of occasions.
Kokomo Vineyard’s Erik Miller was a gracious host earlier this year and put a few things in perspective with his own wine-making thoughts.
After touring a barrel-making plant in Windsor, Calif., Erik talked about his vineyards and the wine-making process. The conversation started where the morning began and that was with oak-barrel aging.
“My philosophy on oak is that we use oak like you’d use salt at a meal,” the Kokomo native said. “You want some salt on your meal so it has that seasoning. It would be bland without it to some degree, but you don’t want to taste the salt.”
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