Normally, a consumer’s first taste of any given wine is the finished product. Barrel tasting gives you not only a sneak peek into what’s to come, but also a unique chance to meet the winemaker, learn about the grape-growing process, lock in futures, and gain a whole new perspective on the winemaking process.
Barrel wine is different in that [the wines are] very young. They can make you smile, learn, maybe pucker with their tannins but you can taste where it’s going to go based on what you taste and what the winemaker shares with you. It’s a wonderful learning experience that both educates and pleases the pallet.
What is barrel tasting?
Barrel tasting is when a winemaker opens up his barrels and samples wines that are aging for the consumer. This takes place during the aging process, when the wine is being aged in barrels — before wine ever makes it into the bottle.
With the wine harvest typically running from late August through October, barrel tastings happen the following spring; so, if you’re barrel tasting this March, you’re most likely trying 2019 grapes whose wine will be hitting shelves in 2020 or maybe even 2021.
Tasting wine from a barrel is a rare opportunity to peek into what it is to be a winemaker. Winemakers taste from the barrel not only to check if it is ready for bottling, but also to see the aging process and the evolution of the wines, and it helps when they are considering which wines to blend together.
Barrel tasting is a unique experience in that each wine sample is unique and not like any other barrel of wine. When wine is ready to be bottled, all the barrels are mixed together in one large tank, resulting in wine that is a combined result from many barrels.
What are the perks of barrel tasting?
Whether you’re a wine novice or expert, one of the best parts about barrel tasting is that you get to learn firsthand how winemaking works, down to what the weather was like while the grapes were growing. Consumers get to venture into the cellars to see where the magic happens.
It’s also a chance for consumers to get to know the winemaker and wine-grower — an opportunity you don’t experience during regular tastings and tours.
And then there are the futures. You will have the opportunity to purchase our wine at a 25% discount, and then receive the wine once bottled. Many of our wines are so limited, that buying futures is your only chance to purchase.
To make sure you’re ready for Barrel Tasting at English Newsom Cellars, there are the main components of tasting explained so you can impress your friends with your winemaking knowledge:
• The Barrel: Generally made from either French or American oak; the barrels have a huge impact on the flavors incorporated in the wine.
• The Vineyard: The place where wine-making begins and the basis for premium wines.
• Futures: A chance to purchase the wine you tasted now at a discount, and receive the final product after it has been bottled (usually 12-18 months later).
– Tour duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes (sampling time included)
– $30 Adults
– Must be 21+ to make reservation online
– Sales tax and fees included
– Military and Senior (65+) discount available
– Must bring valid, photo ID, 18-20 may take tour; only 21+ may sample
– Exclusive Tours are offered upon request, please call to make a reservation at 806-863-2704
– For those 21+ sampling of: English Newsom Cellars Wine in barrels
– Minimum of 8 Maximum of 20 per tour