Wine-making

It’s that season in Moldova!  Families are harvesting their grapes and making house wine to sell and drink for the next year.  I hadn’t had the chance to make wine yet, so I went down to another volunteer’s village, where his host family made about 4 tons of wine last year.

I don’t think the grape harvest was as plentiful this year, but it sure looked like a lot of grapes to me!  I helped for an evening, and then we went over to visit family friends and celebrate a birthday.  I also watched as the volunteer’s host mom plucked and prepared the chicken for dinner.  Lots of fun.

I did learn, however, that one should be very careful when consuming new wine.  If the wine hasn’t fermented all the way yet, it may taste fine going in, but it is quite unpleasant coming out…either of two ends.  I’ll let you make the connection.  I spent the next few days in a bit of pain (my poor American digestive system is not used to all these Moldovan traditions), but it was worth it.  Maybe I’ll get another chance to go down and spend a few days helping later this month.

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So you’ll see in the photos above…the grapes (fermenting) are put into that big metal tin.  Then we drain the tin through the spigot at the bottom and pour into buckets, filtering the wine with a colander.  Then we take the “filtered” wine and pour it into the big brown barrel (sees in the picture of me and host mom with the half-plucked chicken…it’s got a cork in it).  Just one step in the process!

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