Wine Making Process

Starting a Batch : Kit wines are prepared in 23 litre (30 bottle) batches in about ten minutes. Once mixed the customer places yeast on the batch to initiate fermentation.

Our Part : Wine is placed in a controlled temperature cooler and allowed to ferment fully prior to racking (transferring) to a glass carboy for conditioning and clarification. When stable and clear the wines receive a polish filtration to provide a commercial clarity without stripping color or bouquet from the wine.

Bottling : A bottling appointment is then scheduled and the customer returns to the shop and packages the wine in bottles, jugs or bags in about 25 minutes.

Regular Wines
•  Made from concentrated juice, completed in 4 weeks
•  Yield 23 liters approximately 30 bottles
•  Ready to be consumed soon after bottling
•  5 bonus points 50 points for free batch

Premium Wines
•  A blend of fresh juice and concentrate completed in 7 weeks
•  Yield 23 liters approximately 30 bottles.
•  Best left 6 weeks to 3 months before consuming.
•  7 bonus points. 70 points for free batch

Ciders & Coolers
Clearbrook Brewing Company has a large variety of ciders and coolers to choose from. These products can have their sweetness adjusted to suit your taste. Ciders are fruit-based and coolers are wine-based. All ciders and coolers take 3 weeks to finish. Our ciders and coolers produce approximately 23 litres per batch.

How Is It Made?

Picking : California grapes are mostly picked by hand while Washington Grapes are machine picked.

Hand Picking : Starting from first light the grapes are picked in the cool of the morning. The filled totes are placed in a refrigerated truck and arrive at Clearbrook Brewing approximately 36 hours later. These grapes are placed straight into the wine making process immediately upon their arrival.

Machine Picking : Our Washington vineyards employ the use of machines to pick. In a process similar to how we see our local berries, the equipment uses fingers and a shaker to ease the fruit from the cluster onto the conveyor. Green clusters remain on the vine, while any overripe fruit will fall in front of the machine.

Crush : The grapes are run through a destemmer to separate the stems and seeds from the fruit. This unit is sufficient to prepare the “must” (grape slurry). By no longer using a crusher we are able to avoid much of the green tannin associated with seeds and stems.

Fermentation : Grapes are fermented in small totes approximately 1 ton at a time. Yeast is selected based on wine style, grape varietal and assessment of tannin, sugar and PH levels.

Pressing is achieved with a pneumatic bladder press. The almost fermented slurry is pumped into the press. The unit is designed to allow the free run juice to run into the collection pan. Once full the unit run a sequence of pressure on / off then tumble. Similar to ringing out a towel, over a two hour period the wine is removed leaving only a crumb of grapes skins.

Barrelling : Upon completion of primary and malolactic fermentations the wine is ready to be transferred into barrels for ageing. Both French and American oak barrels are used depending on the desired type and intensity of tannin required.

Filtering : Clearbrook Brewing does not use any chemical agents to clarify the wines prior to filtration. The result is a more natural finished product. The wine is filtered using a plate and frame filtration system to produce a high level of clarity without stripping flavor or pigment from the wine.

Bottling is completed in a mere 15 to 20 minutes. A 30 bottle washer completes sanitization in about 3 minutes. Filling and corking are easily conducted with the semi-automatic units. At the discretion of the customer crowns and custom labels can be applied.