“At White Rose Winery ‘hand crafted wine’ means exactly what it says. Our wines are hand crafted from the vineyard to you. In the vineyard we use no machinery except for the mower. The grapes are pruned by hand, one vine and one shoot at a time as the vines are inspected and shoot trained to provide proper ventilation and sun exposure to the clusters of grapes and the vines. This gentle handling contributes significantly to the development of fully mature, intensely complex grapes, full of flavor and character.
We use no insecticides on our vines. In Missouri’s climate some fungicides are required. Spraying is done by hand, one vine at a time.
The grapes are hand picked, then de-stemmed and crushed into open top fermenters where they are tested to determine acid/ph levels and allowed to work on native yeast for 24-36 hours before being inoculated with known yeast(s).
NO sulfites are used at any time in the wine making process. Many believe that sulfites are the cause of headaches and allergic reactions to wines, and some people are allergic to sulfites.
Sulfites are naturally occurring in wines at a level of 5-10 PPM. Wines to which sulfite’s have been added have levels of 75-300-1500 PPM.
At the naturally occurring level of 5-10 PPM the wines will go through a secondary fermentation, which softens the mouth and butters it up. Even our very dry wines are not harsh in the mouth but are still soft and smooth.
Primary fermentation is sugar into alcohol, secondary fermentation is malic acid into lactic acid which is a softer acid than malic. Both acids occur naturally in wine.
The by-products of primary fermentation are CO2 and alcohol. The CO2 causes the grape skins to float to the top of the fermentation bin and three times a day these skins need to be “ punched down “ to keep them moist and enhance the maceration ( leaving the skins in contact with the wine to leach out flavor compounds)
Most wineries stop fermentation after a week or less by sulfiting the wine to kill the yeast. This reduces the labor requirement of punching down and speeds up the wine making process.
Many winemakers today are trying to reach a price point rather than a quality point.
At the White Rose Winery we utilize extended maceration and leave the wine on the skins until at least “cap fall” which is that point where fermentation is so slow that not enough CO2 is being generated to float the skins and they sink to the bottom.
At this time the free wine drawn off the must and put into French Oak Barrels to go through secondary fermentation and aging. The must is then pressed in an old fashioned basket press (hand powered) and the wine recovered is treated as the free wine was.
The wine is allowed to rest and mature for up to two years in French Oak Barrels until it is ready for blending or bottling. The wine is bottled one bottle at a time, labeled one bottle at a time, capped one bottle at a time.
Fine wine is meant to be savored one sip at a time until the bottle is finished.”
– Jim O’Haro, Winemaker