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Photo by Michael Buckelew

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From vine to vino: Chateau Elan winemaker hopes for fine wine

BRASELTON -- Five tons of merlot is slowly fermenting in seven large, white containers inside the Chateau Elan Winery. On Monday, Brian Womack and Eli Watson used large shovels to punch down the cap of grape skins that had formed on the surface of the fermenting wine. Punching down the cap -- mixing the skins with the deep, reddish purple, aromatic liquid -- extracts color and flavor from the grape skins. Winery employees will do this three times a day, even on weekends.Photo slide show inside


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