September 8th, 2010

I don’t know about you, but up until today the closest I had come to seeing the wine making process was that one episode of I Love Lucy, of which all I really remember is that face she makes when her bare toes squish through the grapes. I assume that most of the wine I drink today doesn’t start with foot-crushed grapes, but I don’t actually know. My nightly glass of wine could be the footwork of Santa’s elves’ offseason employment and before now I wouldn’t have known the difference.

The winemaking process is not secret information, I know, and what I just saw is far from revolutionary. It was a sweet, simple slide show on the Burgess Cellars website following the 2009 harvest. I saw whole, partly crushed and fully pulverized grapes. I saw the crazy big machines that do the crushing, followed by the machines’ warning sign that features a drawing of severed fingers. I saw the Burgess men, father and son, both in action and repose. And all of it set against the stunning Napa valley. It was humble, unglamorous and honest, and such a nice illustration of why the SF Chronicle would say that Burgess represents “the valley’s heart and soul.” I watched their slideshow, learned something about the work they do and came away trusting the people put it up for me to see.

We stock our bar with a wide array of local wines for you to sample, thinking mostly of giving you a nice variety. But it’s also an act in support of local businesses. The Burgess Cellars make us feel proud of that act.

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