25 March 2019 | Raidis Estate
A day in the life of a Billy Grape
Living life as a grape grown from vines on a patch of red earth in the Coonawarra is a good way to live. There is plenty of water, care, and comfort.
And if you walk through the vineyards you might find a little guy by the name of Billy; not unique in his name, as he has many other brothers and sisters with a similar name, but for this story let’s call him Billy 1.1
Come March and April, life takes a dramatic turn for Billy grape 1.1. The once tranquil vineyard starts to become a hive of activity as all the growing and ripening comes to fruition. He’s looking mighty fine if he does say so himself. He is big, full and juicy.
And, what starts out as living the dream for a Billy grape is all about to change dramatically, like it or not.
As people flood through the vines and start clipping and picking at the Billy grapes, popping them into buckets, and then into bins, the journey starts for the little Billy grape from vine to wine.
He’s been hearing about this day for a long time and now that it’s here he’s a bit apprehensive about what comes next. And just like that, his turn comes around as a sweet blonde-haired lady with one neat snip cuts him and his bunch of fellow Billy grapes from the vine.
Once all packed tightly with his brothers and sisters in the bins, they are popped onto a truck and sent on a little journey to a nearby winery.
It’s here where things get interesting. The little Billy grapes are put into big machines, squashed and mashed and left to sit for several days whilst the colour of their skins merges with the juices flowing out of them, and their sugary insides turn into alcohol.
Talk about getting close to your brothers and sisters, they are now intimately combined. It sounds a little rough, but Billy 1.1 knows that it’s his destiny, and together they make a beautiful deep crimson colour that can only be made by coming together.
After several days of stewing in their own juices so to speak, the little Billy grapes are put into another machine where all the skins are pushed to the side and just the crimson liquid flows effortlessly out.
If you were to ask that little Billy grape what he thinks of this process, he would say this is what I’m destined to be… So, I’m ok with this transformation.
After ageing away with his brothers and sisters in oak barrel homes, they are tested and split up into bottles.
It’s from now on that Billy really gets to shine as he’s shipped all over Australia and the world to appear on dining room tables, pulled out for special occasions, and placed on shelves in wine stores ready to be picked up, opened and enjoyed.
We know that’s just how he likes it so if you see little Billy 1.1 and his brothers and sisters on your table, say hi from us.