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Winemaking fun but serious

By Dave Buchanan
Last post I talked about my introduction to hands-on winemaking, albeit in a minor way compared to what even the smallest commercial winery will produce. A few carboys of shiraz, now sitting in Sal Sassano's basement/winery, waiting for the yeast to finish off the last of the sugar so the wine is safe to bottle. I've witnessed first-hand how overwhelming the carbon dioxide from fermenting wines can be and some of my winemaker friends have joked about the effects of breathing that rarefied atmosphere. But I never expected that winemaking could be deadly, as it appears in this report from about two home winemakers dying while stomping grapes. And you thought those wine festival grape-stomping contests were all in fun. It's fun, sure, but still a serious business, this winemaking. Although it should never be deadly serious.


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