Davenport Winery

(Frank) Today, Around Kansas is in Eudora, Kansas, actually a little bit
west of Eudora and we’re at Davenport Winery. Today, we’re going to find
out that grapes are one hundred percent grown right here in Kansas to make
one hundred percent Kansas wine. It’s gonna be a fun day here on Around
Kansas.

Closed Captioning brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

(Frank) Wine making in Kansas, absolutely, so we want to show you kind of
the process from the beginning to the end actually, so we are at Davenport
Winery, which is just outside Eudora: just outside Lawrence, Kansas. This
is Greg Shippe, he’s the owner of this vineyard. Greg, welcome. (Male) Well
I’m the owner with my wife, Charlee Glinka, and we started this winery in
1997. (Frank) Wow. (Male) The first grapes were planted in 1990, so they’re
hitting twenty-three on some of them. (Frank) Wow, and we’re gonna be
showing the grape harvest today, at least some of it. Today, you guys are
harvesting what? (Male) A grape called Vingoles. (Frank) Okay and it’s
used for? (Male) Usually for a sweet wine, sometimes a late harvest
wine, if we can let it hang long enough. (Frank) I see, and, so,
how do you use your volunteers? Is that tradition? (Male) In Kansas,
yeah, there’s a tradition of volunteers. Today, we have a weekday,
which isn’t as many volunteers, but we pick our week or whenever
the grapes are ready and anybody that has a day off or free-time,
they can come out and help us. (Frank) Okay. How do you know
what is the optimum time to harvest the grapes? (Male) Well we can
measure the sugar content by bricks. It’s a refractometer and then we
can measure the pH., but the real test comes by tasting. The flavor
has to be in the grape or never end up in the wine. (Frank) I see.
Okay, and then they’re harvested and then you crush them
and? (Male) Well in the Vingoles, it’s a white grape, so we’ll harvest it,
crush it, press it and then put it in a tank. (Frank) Okay. So what’s the
difference between crushing and then pressing? Explain that. (Male) Well
pressing will separate the juice from the pulp, so we don’t. Now the red
wines, we’ll leave it on the pulp to ferment. We call it the husk.
(Frank) Okay, and then after the husks are still there, what do you do with
those? (Male) They can make good composts. (Frank) Oh, okay, and sometimes
don’t some of the cattle farmers use them as feed for their cattle?
(Male) I don’t know if cattle would do good for the husk. I think pigs
would be okay with it. (Frank) Pigs would be good with it, okay.
(Male) I know beer making, it’s good to take that stuff back to the cattle.
(Frank) Yeah. Okay, now as you know, this is a coproduction of WREN Radio
and when I spoke to you one time, we had talked about that the farm was and
is named the Jenny Wren Farm. Can you give us a little history on it?
(Male) Well that was the farm that was east of Lawrence called Jenny Wren
Farm. Our grandparents bought it I think from the Brand family in 1949 and
the last of it was sold just a few years ago. It was a really nice place.
There was a horse racing track out there, many barns, horse racing barn,
horse barn, cattle barn, a big rock barn. It was quite the place.
(Frank) Wow, okay. (Male) Two hundred and fifty acres, I think, and now
Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp is on forty acres of that. (Frank) Wow, okay.
Well when we come back, we’re gonna talk about some of the varieties of
grapes that are grown here at Davenport Winery.

(Frank) Okay, while you were watching a few great commercials, we moved to
another block here at the Davenport Winery. Now you do call the various
sections blocks? (Male) Yes. We have the grapes planted in blocks so we can
keep it straight where things are. (Frank) Oh, okay. So it’s like going to
Block Fourteen and this is the time to harvest. (Male) We just say Block
Norton or Block Vingoles. (Frank) Okay. Well now that you mention Norton,
are we not right here with some Norton grapes? (Male) This is the Norton
grape. This grape was developed by Dr. Norton about 1827 in Virginia,
thought to be a true American grape, but recently discovered, a few years
ago, probably seven years ago, they found Dr. Norton’s papers and a distant
relative’s attic and discovered a Vinifera grape from France in it. It is
now the state grape of Missouri. I think that’s where Missouri actually
probably brought it back from prohibition because they still had some
tucked away. (Frank) Well yeah, I mean, Kansas was what, number four in
wine making before prohibition? (Male) Well that’s hard to come up with. If
you found it, that’d be good. I’d like to see what it is. I heard it was in
the top ten and we’re guessing sixth. I am anyway because there’s some
other states that were mentioned. (Frank) All right. Now the Norton grape,
because I’m kind of a novice wine connoisseur, I mean, I love to experiment
with wines and Norton happens to be one of my most favorite, but I thought
you just made one wine from it. Is that not so? (Male) I make six different
wines from Norton. We do variations of Norton without oak, with oak and
different types of oak and then we do a blush, which you’ll probably not
find any place else because it’s quite expensive to do a blush. You don’t
get a lot of juice out of Norton. That’s why it’s kind of a waste when you
press it to make a blush. A blush is where you de-stem it, crush it, and press
it and ferment the juice and discard the skin and the seeds, just like you
were making a white wine. (Frank) Wow. (Male) Norton also has a really red
pigment in it, probably ones of the highest Resveratrol’s, grapes, good
stuff for your heart. (Frank) Okay. Now, these will be ready for harvest
when? (Male) Well I’m looking at probably late September, late this month,
yeah. We even harvest it at mid-October before. This year’s running about a
month late, so it could even be later than that. We’ll just keep watching
it. (Frank) So then you crush them and then do you press these as well?
(Male) No. We’ll crush them, de-stem them and crush them, pump them into a
tank, through in the yeast and ferment it and when all the fermentation is
gone, which is done, which could be oh, on Norton’s, probably a week to ten
days, two weeks. Then we’ll press it. We’ll pump it to the press and press
it, separate the juice from the or the wine, actually it’s wine then, the
wine from the must and then we’ll put it in tanks and let it settle.
(Frank) Okay. So then vintage 2013 would be ready for consumption when?
(Male) It depends. Some of our wines will age for we like to do thirty
months, but if we need it, we’ll do twenty-four months. We did one that was
forty-two months that was outstanding. (Frank) Wow. Okay, now do you
correct me if I’m wrong, but do you do a champagne? (Male) I play with
champagne. I don’t have one to sell right now, but we have some that we
need to learn how to disgorge. (Frank) Oh, okay. I thought I saw something
on the website, something about the champagne, but now, because I know of
one time you could only say it was champagne if it came from the champagne
region in France. (Male) You’re correct. We could not call it champagne.
(Frank) Okay. (Male) It would have to be sparkling wine. (Frank) I see, sparkling wine.
(Male) But the one we did make and sell was from apples and then we
called that scrumpy and that’s something sold in the pubs in England.
(Frank) Ah, okay. Now, you have several varieties of wine and again, from
the Norton, you say you have several different wines there. How many
different wines do you have? (Male) Well we make about forty different
wines and we have seventeen different varieties of grapes and what we’re
proud of is we’re a hundred percent Kansas grown, always have been, always
will be. If we run low, we just keep planting more grapes. We’ve got more
ground set aside and another irrigation well put down to expand.
(Frank) Okay, and, so, you have wines for everyone’s taste, I mean, someone
that wants a sweet wine (Male) Got that. (Frank) and dry wine
(Male) Very dry wine. (Frank) dessert wines (Male) Dessert wines, that’s
ports. (Frank) Wow. Okay, well we were at your tasting room over at Matrot
Castle in Topeka and got to sample a lot of them and wow, were they good.
(Male) Well thank you. (Frank) All right. We’ll be back.

(Frank) We’re back and we talked about volunteers that do the harvest here
at the vineyards and this is one of them and your name is?
(1st Male) Russ Hutchins. (Frank) Well, Russ, how long have you been volunteering?
1st Male) Well it’s my first day, maybe two hours now.
(Frank) Two hours, okay. That’s great. Well show me what you do.
(1st Male) Well Greg showed me with the nippers, you find the vine and
then you trim it close to the main stem and be careful you don’t get your
fingers and you get the handful, put it in the tub. (Frank) Okay, and then,
so, how long are you gonna do this, until it gets to a hundred and five
degrees? (1st Male) I’ll probably knock off twelve. (Frank) Twelve?
(1st Male) Yeah. (Frank) Okay. (1st Male) And come back tomorrow.
(Frank) Okay. So how many tubs have you done in your two hours? This is my
third or fourth one. (Frank) Wow, really? (1st Male) Yeah.
(Frank) Do you enjoy wine? (1st Male) I do. I enjoy drinking it and trying
different kinds and now I have a better appreciation of what it takes to go
into get the wine into the bottle and all that. (Frank) Okay, now every now
and then, do you sneak a couple and taste them? (1st Male) No, no I
haven’t eaten any. Greg needs those for the wine. (Frank) Okay. Well, now
see, I asked Greg if I could taste one and I kind of picked one off of one
of the bunches and said, No, no, no, no, no, that’s not the way you taste
grapes, so we did one of these, so. (1st Male) I see. (Frank) And now I’m
looking forward to it becoming really good wine, not what I ate, of course,
but what’s being harvested. The sun is climbing high in the sky and the
harvest goes on here at Davenport Winery. Of course, we’re in the vineyards
and we have another person that helps getting the harvest in and you are?
(2nd Male) I’m Ben Gatter. (Frank) Ben, are you a volunteer?
(2nd Male) No, I work here. (Frank) Oh, okay. So you’ve been put into the
picking of the grapes today then. (2nd Male) Yeah. It takes everyone that
we can get to get them off of here and into the winery, so we’re going to
town on them. (Frank) Okay. Well now you work here, what do you normally
do? (2nd Male) Whatever needs to be done that day. Every day it’s something
different, whether we’re doing weed control or positioning the vines on the
trellises and everything or helping establish new vines or reestablish
vines that have been restarted. There’s always something different.
(Frank) Okay. So when they crush the wine, you guys put them in a vat and
then you jump in there and stomp them or? (2nd Male) No, no, we have
machinery for that. There are probably some sanitation issues with me jumping
in a tank. I didn’t take a shower this morning, so, you know, it’s, I don’t
know. (Frank) I see. All right, well we’ll let you get back to your picking.
(2nd Male) Thanks. (Frank) Thank you. I have another volunteer in the
vineyards. She’s taking a break. (Female) Actually I’m not. This is why I’m
here. (Frank) Oh. (Female) So what I’m doing right now is this ends up
being what I call a pocket pause prayer shawl, so it’s going to be about
two inches long. The differences are it’s got all the wonderment of a full
sized pray shawl, but it is made with donated yarn, blessed by hundreds of
people from fancy men in their suits to little women with cherry pie
filling on their lips and it comes with lots of holes and mistakes for the
loving to flow through. So I am making you one of these to go in your car.
(Frank) All right, but you’re also picking grapes today. (Female) And I’m
picking grapes, yes, and I did get to taste them. That was part of the
excitement. I am up here visiting grandbabies in Eudora and I live in
Cottonwood Falls now and, so, I was up here about three years ago, stopped
in and they happened to have some grapes who were ripe which were white
like this. I don’t know what kind they were for sure, and the very nice
fellow gave me two and they just melted on my tongue and, so, that has just
lived in my soul forever, so I knew that we needed to have the fruit of the
vine. (Frank) So this is your first day, right? (Female) Yes, yeah. I’ve
got fifteen minute seniority over the fellow you just talked to. It’s been
an awesome adventure, so I’m very excited about it and I’m glad that you’re
here because that way people can know that they can come down and visit and
let that inner child in them come play in the grapevines again.
(Frank) Yeah. We’ll be back.

(Frank) You may recognize Josh, he’s the wine maker at the winery and
today, he’s picking grapes. (Male) I’m one of the wine makers. Greg’s the
Head Wine Maker. I’m the Assistant Wine Maker. (Frank) I see, okay. Now do
you call it picking grapes or harvesting grapes or either one? (Male)
Depends on what you like to do. (Frank) Okay. So today we’ve talk to a few
of the volunteers here and they really enjoy what they’re doing. It seems
to be a labor of love and I know it is of yours too, okay. So today, how
long are you guys gonna be out here in the field? (Male) Most the
volunteers will stick around until about noonish or so when it starts to
get really hot and then we’ll have to look at what we’ll do for the rest of
the day, whether or not some of us will come back out here and pick or
we’ll go move to something else, but a few of us will probably come back
out here and pick this afternoon to try to keep going. We’d like to get
this all done today and tomorrow, so we’ll see. (Frank) Yeah. Okay, we were
back in the Norton Block and, so, you’re gonna start that what, hopefully
next week or? (Male) Probably in about four weeks. (Frank) At four weeks.
(Male) Four or five weeks. (Frank) Okay. So today’s grapes then, when you
do expect they might be made into wine? (Male) These are Vingoles and the
fermentation won’t start probably until Sunday. They will be brought into
the winery, crushed and de-stemmed, so we’ll use a machine to separate all
the berries off and then from that point, the berries will have their
skin’s broken and be put into a press and then we’ll separate out the
juice. As you can see, these guys are very, very juicy and, so, if you want
to kind of an idea of what it’s gonna smell like, so go ahead and smell
that. So Vingoles has a very, very flowery aroma to it and this is going to
make a beautiful wine. (Frank) So when can we expect this vintage to be
out? (Male) Probably at least a year and a half, maybe two years.
(Frank) Wow. So be looking for 2013 vintage (Male) In 2015. (Frank) in
2015, all right. Let’s go try something in the tasting room. From the
vineyard to the glass, grapes grown in Kansas, wine made in Kansas and now
we’re in the tasting room. It’s about thirty degrees cooler in here. Tell
us about the tasting room, the hours and what people can expect?
(2nd Male) Well what’s nice about a tasting room in a Kansas farm winery is
you can taste the wine before you buy it. We have a list of wines here
today that are available. We have them broken down into dry, sweet, white,
red and some other wines made of other fruits other than grapes and we make
from very dry to very sweet, something for everybody. I make a total of
probably a little over forty wines and the hours are Monday, Wednesday and
Friday, four to seven p.m., Saturday and Sunday, one to five and, of
course, any other time, if you want to call, we’re available to let you
stop by. (Frank) Believe me, it’s easy to find. So be sure to visit the
winery and discover one hundred percent Kansas made wine, one hundred
percent of the time.

Closed Captioning brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

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