Straw Wine: Capitello Wines Adventure Continues

Winemaker Ray Walsh harvests Sauvignon Blanc from straw mats

Last month, I stumbled upon an intriguing lay out of freshly harvested grapes on straw mats while visiting a local winery, and I tracked down Capitello Wines winemaker, Ray Walsh, to find out what he was doing with these clusters of Sauvignon Blanc. After a brief interview with Walsh, I learned that the grapes on the straw mats were going to be used to make Straw Wine.

Straw Wine, which is sometimes called Raisin Wine, is a sweet dessert wine made from the concentrated juice of dried grapes, and Walsh is the first winemaker in Oregon to experiment with this process of winemaking.

After my first conversation with Walsh about his adventure with making Straw Wine, I put together an article on my award-winning website,, Straw Wine: A New Adventure for Capitello Wines.

Dried Sauvignon Blanc clusters ready to be pressed

About a month later, when Walsh was ready to harvest the dried grapes from the straw mats, I met him at the winery to witness this labor intensive process. Aside from sorting through each cluster by hand, the grapes are then gently pressed to extract the small bits of sweet juice from the dried grapes.

To follow me on this journey of the making of Oregon’s first Straw Wine, visit my wine website,, where you’ll find pictures and details of the entire process from beginning to end. The second article in this on-going series can be found by clicking here.

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