Whether it’s nursing you after a long hard day or you’re out and about with your girls, wine is always an absolute must. It’s considered the classy social drink, from reds to whites, grapes from Italy, France or Chile, even how old it is, makes a drastic difference. Everyone has their favorites, whether it’s store bought or made by a friend, at some point, everyone has considered making their own wine, designed perfectly to their liking.
Lisa van den Woldenberg of Lebanon NJ, decided to take this idea a bit further, creating the Grape Finale Hands-on Winery, located in Flemington, NJ at 8 Bartles Corner Road, Suite 107. “My passion for wine was firmly established when I attended the University of California at Davis, the leading enology and viticulture school in the world. I enjoy making wine and wanted to share this hobby with others.”
Any level of winemaker is welcome, whether you’re a newbie who needs assistance or experienced and you just want to take in something different. Separated into four different 1 hr social sessions, crushing, pressing, racking and bottle and labeling, customer’s are taken through the process step-by-step, putting their own fingerprint on a design all their own. “At the first session, clients taste their grapes and after the crush, which is not done in the “I Love Lucy” stomping style, but with modern technology, it’s turned into grape juice. While the wine rests in the barrel, which you can also choose, American Oak, Hungarian Oak or French Oak, it’s carefully watched over and monitored on a daily basis. Customers can even request a progress report or a barrel tasting at any time they wish.”
But just how personal does it get?
“Customers are able to choose from over 25 varietals of premium red and white grapes to make traditional blends or, upon request, create their own blends. Which grapes are available varies by season. In the spring season, grapes are imported from Chile and in the fall season grapes are imported from California. Customers also select what type of aging they prefer, regular aging or making reserve wine, and between hand bottling their wine in regular, split or magnum sized bottles. At the end of the process, patron’s hands label their bottles with waterproof and humidity resistant, custom labels. Clients can personalize any of the over 120 off the shelf label designs Grape Finale offers or work with one of the facility’s graphic artists to create a unique one of a kind label using personal pictures of children, pets, vacations, or family portraits.”
If you’re in the area and love wine and want to get a taste of something you yourself created, you know so you can brag about it to your friends and family when you give them your wine as a gift, be sure to visit in February. Winemaking groups are forming now for the 2015 Spring Chilean winemaking season. They will be holding a barrel tasting event where attendees have the opportunity to taste 2014 vintages made with Chilean grapes, purchase available ¼ barrel shares and return March to bottle and apply custom labels to your wine.
So if you’re looking for a lively, upbeat place to make your next concoction with good friends be sure to visit Grape Finale Hands-on Winery!