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Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg. Photo by Allan Zepeda, courtesy of Brooklyn Winery

Things are pretty crazy out there in the world these days. The Euro-zone is faltering, S&P downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating, stocks are plunging, earthquakes are shaking the eastern seaboard and hurricanes are brewing…Any urban homesteader worth his or her salt (salt they collected for themselves on a trip to Utah, of course) has started preparing for the worst. Brooklynites are already making their own beer, preserving jams and pickles, raising chickens in their backyards, and keeping bees on their roofs. But after the Rapture, what in heavens name will you do for wine?!?!

Never fear! Brooklyn Winery’s fall winemaking program will guide you through making your own wine, taking you through the process from vine to bottle. Go in for a full barrel and be involved in every step of the process, or choose the “Wedding Barrel” for something special to serve on your big day without the extensive time commitment. As the world implodes around you, you’ll be the envy of all your friends–sitting on a rock, outside your cave upstate, enjoying a fine glass of your very own merlot while defending your larder from jealous refugee Manhattanites armed with dirt clods and flaming pine cones…

We asked Brooklyn Winery CEO and Co-founder Brian Leventhal about the Fall 2011 classes.

What’s fun about making your own wine?

It is a completely personal experience.  It allows you the opportunity to experience both science and instinct in a singular activity that produces truly amazing results. What is interesting about winemaking is that you get to write the ‘story’ of your wine and experience its evolution every step of the way. That is something you can’t get from a purchase at a local wine shop.

What will people in your winemaking class learn how to do?

We offer many different wine classes at the winery to appeal to different interests. Whether it is a tasting class, one of our blending sessions, or even a class that focuses on a particular wine region, people have the opportunity to learn more about wine in an engaging environment. Our client winemakers have a unique learning opportunity because they get to experience winemaking under the guidance of our very own winemaker. It is a great learning experience, but we make sure that everything is designed to be fun and heighten the enjoyment and appreciation of wine.

Winemaker Conor McCormack holds court. Photo by Jones McCormack, courtesy of Brooklyn Winery

How long is the process from vine to bottle?

That all depends on what kind of wine you are making. After grapes are harvested, the barrel aging process can be as little as eight months for some wines and up to as many as twenty months for others before they are bottled.

What has the response to your classes been like so far?

Our wine classes are really popular. There is truly a genuine interest in the appreciation of wine. Whether learning how to taste, or simply learning more about different varietals and wine producing regions, people are anxious to elevate their experience with wine.

What wine are you making to stock your apocalypse shelter?

While you might expect me to say Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, my personal preference is Riesling.  Most people don’t realize that really well made Rieslings can age for decades, their complexity growing over time. With terrific Riesling fruit coming from right here in NY, I won’t have to go far to find outstanding grapes!


Ready to start building your Rapture Cellar? Click here for more information about Brooklyn Winery and their classes. (h/t) Grub Street

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