Delicato Vineyards is holding its second free Home Winemaking Workshop on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the winery’s Tuscan Room, Highway 99 and French Camp Road, four miles north of Manteca.
Class size is limited, so make your reservations early by calling 824-3500 or emailing Jane Schwartz at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The winemaking workshop is a precursor to the annual “grape days” where Delicato Vineyards makes juice from this year’s crush available to home winemakers.
As part of the family’s heritage, Delicato has been supplying fresh grape juice to home winemakers since 1935. Delicato founder Gaspare Indelicato, began the winemaking tradition by taking much delight in meeting old friends and advising them on how to make the best wines.
When Gaspare migrated to California, he continued the tradition of making wine for his family learned from his father. During Prohibition, because wine could not be sold commercially, Gaspare sold grapes to the home winemakers who crushed the grapes to make their wine. After Prohibition, when his winery was still very small, Gaspare realized that he could easily provide those same customers with their own wine grape juice at a reasonable price. At that time, as well as now, each head of the home winemaking family was allowed to make 200 gallons of wine per year.
Delicato sells wine grape juice in five to 200 gallon size containers. Some customers make jelly; some customers either freeze or can the juice for a breakfast drink; and some customers make wine.
People like being a part of a tradition that goes back to the timeless customs of grandparents and great-grandparents. It is interesting to note that the wine-making hobby has begun to interest the younger generation. This younger group is more into reading winemaking books, using hydrometers, fermentation locks, studying which yeast to use, determining the brix and acid levels, taking workshops, etc.