Made in Delano: Savannah Oaks Winery
By: Latricia Thomas
A Polk County winery is focusing on the vine, to bring business to their small community.
At the Savannah Oaks Winery in Delano, wine is much more than a way to unwind. "It's hard and dirty," owner Betty Davis say, "and it is a lot of work to take it from the vine to put it into full production for a bottle of wine."
Bruce Davis prunes his muscadine branches now, so they'll be full in the fall in time to harvest. "Either the berries or the fruit comes in and is crushed or squeezed and then its put in these tanks," Bruce says.
That's where the sugar and acid levels are measured, and yeast is added, which kick-starts the fermentation process. The recipe is different for every batch. "We have good years," Bruce says, "bad years, dry years when the quality is fantastic but the quantity is low. Raining years with huge quantity but not very good quality."
It can take six weeks to six months, but when the vat of vino passes the taste test, the wine is transferred to the bottling room. After the bottles are sanitized, it's time to fill the glass with gold, add a label and it's ready for the public tasting room.
Savannah Oaks bottles nearly 8 thousand gallons of wine a year, hard work that goes year round. "We grow our grapes, we go from the vines to the wines," Betty Davis says. "And people are surprised to find us in the little small community where there's not even a red light."
Click here to visit the Savannah Oaks website.
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