From grapes to wine at Webb Winery - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

From grapes to wine at Webb Winery

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SHARPSVILLE, Pa -

For a lot of us, it's basically always wine season, but wine-making season has a much shorter window. Saturday on WFMJ Weekend Today, we went behind the scenes at Webb Winery in Hermitage for a look at how the process begins.

The crushing process begins with literally a ton of grapes. 

"This is the most exciting because it's the beginning, it's where everything starts with the wine," said owner Kevin Webb.

Into the crusher they go, getting rid of all the stems and twigs before the science behind wine-making officially begins - a part of the process Carlee Webb says she gladly leaves up to her husband Kevin.

"He gets all his chemistry equipment out and his beakers and his flasks and measures. I don't do any of that really," said Carlee.

"Everything has to go right at the beginning," said Kevin. "So you have to know how much sugar's in the grapes, you have to know what the acid is. You have to know all the scientific parts of it so that if you need to, you can adjust the wine before it's too late."

That can be a challenge, since even though they get their grapes from the same place every year up near Erie, the grapes themselves are different every season.

"This year there's probably 25% more sugar than any other year. They're ready, some of them are ready a month earlier than usual, so this is a real strange growing season," said Kevin.

And this is just the start of what will be a year-long process or longer.

"The sweeter wines age faster, they're ready faster," said Carlee. "Some of the more dryer wines that we do, they could be two or three years before they're ready to sell."

Which means there is some planning involved, trying to figure out what they will sell down the road, and they are always looking for a new challenge.

"We are trying a new white grape that's going to be a semi-dry. It's called Traminette. It's related to Gewurztraminer, a lot of people are familiar with that grape," said Kevin.

Something new, along with the old favorites and it all starts with a ton of grapes.

You can find Webb Winery at 2978 S. Hermitage Road in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

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