The journey of wine from vine to you

Jacqueline Kirby Zonkowski
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Tracing the community of wine

The handshake of wine is symbolic in that it expresses the hard work and dedication that goes into each bottle. Wine has a way of bringing people together to form a community over a shared experience. The journey of wine from vine to table is one filled with struggle, love, and trust between growers, winemakers, wine drinkers, and the ones we choose to share wine with. Each step is consummated with a handshake signifying the bond between people, places, and the grapes and wines that are passed along for the next person to love and appreciate. This delicious community is something to be celebrated, most certainly by handing a glass of wine to a friend for a toast.

So often we order a bottle of wine, open it, drink it, maybe make a note of whether or not we like it, and move on. We want to nurture the wine journey from start to finish, help consumers see a new side to their favorite libations, and gain further appreciation for the attention to detail in each bottle we enjoy.

Exploring the handshake of wine

To understand the full aspect of wine as a community, we begin in the vineyard. Like all good things, wine takes time and hard work. We plant the vines by hand and nurture them for years before ever seeing a return. In many vineyards, particularly traditional ones, grapes are still tended to and harvested by hand to achieve near perfection in the winemaking process.

From vine to bottle

We move from the vine, by hand, to the winery, where winemakers work with the grapes. These grapes have passed from the vigneron, or grape-grower, to the winemaker. This handshake of wine solidifies the trust between growers and winemakers that they are delivering a great product and passing the responsibility on for the next step in the process.

Becoming a winemaker means endless time working in vineyards learning the process, hands-on training, and finally, the handshake of the agreement to work with a winery, making this community incredibly unique. The winemaker is handed the grapes from the vigneron to craft the wines for bottling and eventually hands them on to the consumer.

In most small-production wineries, the winemakers handle the bottling process themself before handing off the bottles to distributors to sell or placing them on tasting room shelves.

From bottle to you

We find wine in several places — online retailers, tasting rooms, and local shops to name a few. Each scenario is set in motion from the winery to be presented to us, the wine drinkers. If you’re in your local wine shop, the owner may pick up a bottle to introduce you to something new. You’ve developed a relationship with this seller, there’s trust built in the community and you are ready to try something new.

Online retailers build that community online, earn your trust and recommend wines that we know will match your palate or encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone.

Sharing with friends and family

Once you’ve purchased your wine, the final step in this process is to enjoy it! We often enjoy wine by sharing it with friends and family, those who we share our passion with, and those who are in our wine community. You may pass the bottle around the table or you may pour each person a glass of their own, but what’s important to note is that none of this can be accomplished without that initial handshake to set the wine journey in motion.

Whether you’re just beginning to drink wine or know wine like the back of your hand, Rising Wines Collective has resources to further your understanding of wine as a community.


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About Jacqueline Kirby Zonkowski

As an avid traveler, Jacqueline started finding herself in popular wine regions around the world, fueling her passion for food and wine. When she isn't traveling you will find her at home with a glass of wine in hand and a smile on her face while tasting new recipes with her Chef husband. She received her WSET Level II Certification with Distinction, Argentina Wine Specialist, and Oregon Wine Expert certifications. Jacqueline has worked in the wine marketing and hospitality industry for many years. She continues to increase her wine knowledge and looks forward to creating her own wine one day.