In this multimedia series, we give you the insider's eye on Indiana wines. Tune in each Tuesday for a snobbery-free exploration of a host of viticulture and enology topics.
By Natalie van Hoose
It's mid-October, and the grapes harvested from Purdue University's research vineyards have been trucked to Nelson Hall of Food Science where they are stored in a cooler, waiting to be processed.
In the pilot winery, enology specialist Jill Blume and her student assistants roll up the sleeves of their red coats and get down to business—destemming, crushing and pressing the dozens of grape varieties that roll through their doors. The juice is then wheeled down the hall to the enology laboratory to be cooled, fermented and racked.
In the following videos, Blume explains each step in the winemaking process for white and red grapes.
Members of the Purdue Wine Grape Team instruct several courses for students interested in viticulture and enology, including a wine appreciation course and a class on commerical grape and wine production. Aspiring winemakers can get hands-on experience by working in the winery and enology laboratory, as seen in the photo gallery below.
Chardonnay grapes drop into the destemmer at the Purdue University pilot winery.
Enology specialist Jill Blume prepares to load white grapes into the press.
Student assistants Susan Sobczak (left) and Stephanie Beck load grapes into a basket press as Jill Blume adds sulfites.
A water-filled membrane expands inside the basket press, squeezing the grapes against the interior wall and releasing their juices.
Student assistants (from left) Stephanie Beck, Susan Sobczak and Hannah Freiberg scrape away the remaining skins, seeds and pulp from the press.
Hannah Freiberg inspects a cup of juice from pressed Chardonnay grapes.
The pilot winery in Nelson Hall of Food Science processes grapes from Purdue's experimental vineyards.
Jill Blume prepares a batch of active dry yeast, which ferments the grape juice into wine by converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.
A glass carboy of fermenting Valvin Muscat releases carbon dioxide gas through a water-filled airlock.
Jill Blume punches a layer of skins and seeds down into a vat of red wine. Fermenting on the skins produces red wine's rich color and tannins, the sandpaper texture characteristic of many dry red wines.
A glass carboy of Marquette in the early stages of fermentation. Marquette is a hybrid red grape with high sugar content and moderate acidity. It produces a wine with notes of cherry and black pepper.
Jill Blume presents a Frontenac wine made at Purdue's pilot winery. Frontenac is a very cold-hardy hybrid red grape that yields a wine with aromas of cherry, blackberry and plum.
Bottles of wine in the Richard P. Vine Enology Library, located in Nelson Hall. The library houses a large collection of books on wine as well as hundreds of wines from around the globe.
Credits: Photos by Tom Campbell and Natalie van Hoose. Video by Kelsey Getzin. Web version by Andrew Banta. Through the Grapevine graphic by Russ Merzdorf.
Next Tuesday: Could moderate consumption of red wine stave off Alzheimer's disease? Tune in next week for the answer as we explore wine's healthful components.