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“Around one out of every six people who come in here signs up for the wine club,” adds Carruth. “That lady signed up after one taste. Of course, she did walk in while we were stomping grapes, and she was enchanted.” See, when the Merlot grapes came into the winery, “The crusher-destemmer wasn’t working properly. So I just said, ‘Dump it into the bins; we’re going to stomp on it and do whole-cluster fermentation.’ Merlot isn’t that tannic” and could therefore probably stand to stew in its stems for a bit. (Just to be sure, Carruth called the winemaker who sold him the grapes for counsel.) “It was one of those late-night decisions. I’m going to be picking out stems for a week, but I think it’s going to be really good.”

In the meantime, it makes a heck of a show. “People love the organic aspect of it,” says Milliken. “They’re in here tasting when we’re pressing, and there’s wine and water flowing everywhere. They’re seeing us when we’re stressed, when we’re excited — everything. People are so used to the carnivalized society, and this is just really raw and real.”

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