If you’ve been to any of our three tasting facilities, you know that in addition to great wines, Scott Harvey also offers some really fun merchandise, too. We usually have clothing and caps, wine paraphernalia and even candles and lip balm. These items provide another way for you to savor and remember your experience with Scott Harvey Wines.
Some of these items are very popular. Men just love the “Inzinerator” T-shirt, emblazoned with a big flashy, superhero “Z.” And the ladies seem to especially like the “Tickle Me Pink” merchandise. We also have some really nice polo shirts with the Scott Harvey Griffin logo, suitable for the front nine at your favorite golf course or the back forty at your favorite vineyard.
But of all the merchandise we offer at Scott Harvey tasting rooms, the item that seems to get the most attention is “Scott’s Balls.”
You see, not every winemaker has balls like Scott Harvey, and even fewer of them actually sell their balls. Scott is more than man enough to part with his balls, after they have given their last true measure of devotion to the winemaking process.
OK—for those of you who don’t know, “Scott’s Balls” are real oak balls, milled to about the size of a ping pong ball, and they are an integral part of aging Scott Harvey red wines. Scott, and his protege, Winemaker Mollie Haycock, generally use neutral french oak barrels for aging. “Neutral” means the barrels have been used, and no longer have as much of the oak essence to impart to the wine as they did when they were brand new.
Instead, Scott and Mollie add new oak balls into the barrel and let them steep in the wine as it ages for 24 months or so. They can add as many balls as they want into each barrel and they can remove the balls whenever they want to. It gives them a little more control over that facet of the winemaking process.
Typically, the balls stay in the barrel throughout the aging period and are removed when the barrel is emptied so the wine can be bottled. So, what would you do with several thousand wine-infused oak balls?
It turns out that Scott’s Balls are great in barbecues and smokers, imparting an oaky, smokey, tangy wine flavor to whatever you put on the grill. So at Scott Harvey, we dry them and then we package them up for sale. Yes, Scott’s Balls can be purchased in their own handy little sack.
So the next time you visit us in the Shenandoah Valley, Sutter Creek or the Old Sugar Mill, check out our merchandise, take home a T-Shirt or two, and a bag of Scott’s Balls if they’re available,
And since there is absolutely no Voodoo involved in this, go ahead and light Scott’s Balls on fire anytime you want. He won’t mind!