GINA ON THE JOB: Winemaker at Huber's Orchard and Winery - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GINA ON THE JOB: Winemaker at Huber's Orchard and Winery

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BORDEN, Ind. (WDRB) -- It's harvest time in Kentuckiana. WDRB's Gina Glaros went to where the grapes grow at one of Indiana's popular wineries on this edition of "Gina on the Job."

Gina visited Huber's Orchard and Winery and took over as winemaker during its busiest time of year. 

"Whether we're harvesting apples or pumpkins, or today, it's all about grapes," Dana Huber said. "We're going to take you out to our vineyards. We're going to show you how we harvest and handpick those grapes. We're going to take you into the cellar. We're going to give you a rake, and then we're going to do some analysis and make some great wine today."

Grape picking beings at 7 a.m.

"Grab the stock at the base, and you're able to clip it forward," Huber said. "You're able to get the cluster of the grapes, and then we'll place those gently into our basket."

Harvest time for the 85 total acres of vineyard takes six to eight weeks. Gina helped crews pick two acres of Vidal grapes, which are used in making the winery's blended Starlight White wine. 

Workers have to move fast. They want to be finished by 10 a.m. before the sun can change the grapes' chemistry. The grapes that are dropped go back into soil preparation for the following year. 

"The one thing you'll want to be careful is when we're harvesting, is that we don't have any leaves that come into the process, because after the grapes leave the vineyard, they go into our production area where they're actually de-stemmed, where they're crushed and they're de-stemmed and pressed into juice," Huber said. "That starts the process for the wine making."

The team showed Gina how to get rid of any leaves or dry grapes that did make it into the machine.

Meanwhile in the lab next door, she learned that chemistry is a huge part of the process.

"We have the enzymes that we're going to put onto the grapes, that will go through the de-stemmer and on into the press to help release the juice out of the skins to make it easier to press," Ted Huber said.

After the grapes are pressed and turned into juice, it'll go into fermentation to be turned into wine. It'll age anywhere from a few months to a couple years.

Sampling throughout the process is also necessary.

Then, when the winery isn't relying so heavily on conditions outside, the wine is bottled inside and ready for customers' taste buds.

"It's a fun business to be in," Ted Huber said. "It's very seasonal. What we do now, we won't be doing six weeks from now, and what we do in the winter, we don't do in the spring and so forth. So our jobs change all the time as the seasons go.

"You see where everybody's moving. There's parts. We're doing everything simultaneously to get the best quality fruit, the best quality juice, the best quality wine."

"It's about passion,. It's about farming. It's about agriculture," Dana Huber said.

What will Gina do next? Email her or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter with your 'Gina on the Job' suggestion.

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