Don Williamson II, Project Superintendent for Barrett Paving – New York Central, shared something that he loves to do when not making a career here at Barrett: make wine!
About 5 years ago, Don’s wife convinced him to start a hobby, something that both of them could enjoy and share their time together. Naturally, they started making wine at home. The challenge, in the beginning, was taking the time to learn about the processes and how much it was going to cost. As we all know, time and money are precious fleeting commodities and hard to find.
Don discovered that making wine is quite easy and what you get in return is well worth the efforts that you put in. He begins every year now in mid-September by getting the juice, either locally or purchased online. As the fall harvests come into play, you can get some good local juice from several wineries located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Then, the process of fermentation begins. This is the only lengthy amount of time that you spend and it entails waiting for approximately 4 to 5 weeks for the juice’s sugars to be consumed by the yeast that creates the alcohol. Don even came up with a few little secrets along the way that he’s learned to help increase the % of alcohol in his wines, making them a bit dry but rich in flavors.
After all the seasons to date, Don has made over 1,200 bottles of wine in his home including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Raspberry wine, Apple wine, and even Maple wine.
Over time, something that I thought might be a burden has become a joy for me and I will continue to become better over time, just like a fine wine & the 40 years of Barrett.
– Don Williamson II (D2)