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From vine to wine — a process not to be rushed

October 1, 2017 GMT

Part of the fun with winemaking is opening a bottle in April, then tasting the same variety later in the summer and discovering it has a different taste due to the aging process.

“Sometimes you get a deeper, more rich taste,” said Jared Faltys, a Norfolk novice winemaker. “Other times, the taste will start fluttering away on you.”

Faltys said most of the varieties he produces on his estate are better if they are drunk within a year of being produced. His wines are natural, with no preservatives.

The timeline he follows usually begins with the harvesting of grapes in September. Depending on the year, at least one of his four grape varieties begins to ripen around Labor Day.

There are many steps to winemaking, but the short of it includes crushing the grapes into a must, which includes the skins with the grape.

All of the contents are put together, sealed tight and siphoned. Gravity pulls down the junk or the stuff that isn’t desired.

It takes multiple rackings or repeating the process about every 30 days in carboys. After the final racking, the wine settles for another month.

All the sediment keeps falling down, with the liquid on top. If all goes well, about New Year’s Eve, Faltys and his family and some friends will bottle it.

There are factors a person can try to influence the wine’s taste, which mostly results from the grape and the type of year. He is just learning about ways to control acidity, one of the key items to producing a good wine.

“Sometimes it can hit you like you just drank vodka if you don’t do it right,” he said.

There is a network of wine hobbyists in Nebraska but most are in Omaha and Lincoln. Faltys said he hopes publicity about his hobby will help him get in contact with others locally so they can share information together.

The bottom line is to make what he or others like.

Wine doesn’t have to be complicated or snobbish.

“If you taste the wine and you like the wine, it’s good wine. If you taste the wine and you don’t like the wine, it must be bad wine. I guess that’s how I see it.”