California:
Fire and Ice

"At the far side," leading her along as he spoke, "is where we stack the cases of already bottled wine, referred to as binning. It used to be that individual bottles were stacked, but it's been found that putting them in cases means there are fewer handlings and better protection from the light. Here again they age for a few weeks, months, or years, depending on the winemaker's wishes." His eyes dwelled on her attentive features. "Today wine isn't made strictly for the rich. It's for everyone. With the many different varieties of wine on the market today, there's certain to be a wine that pleases anyone's taste buds. The expensive imported wines are still around to be used as a social symbol for the rich, but more ordinary people in the United States are discovering the pleasure of a glass of inexpensive wine with their meals."

"Where do you do the bottling?" Alisa asked.

"In another small building behind the office. I can't take you through there today since it's too small. I hope to enlarge it next year," Zachary replied with a polite but incredibly distant smile. "There are variations in the making of dessert and sparkling wines, but I'm sure you've seen the basic process today, enough to confuse you without boggling your mind with the solera process for sherries. Now I'll take you back upstairs and point the way to the house."

"Meaning I've trespassed on your preserve for as long as you'll allow me," Alisa retorted sharply, jerking away from the hand that sought to help her up the steps.

"Meaning I haven't eaten my lunch, I'm hungry, and I have a great deal of work to do!" This time there was the fire of anger in his eyes. "And I'm in no mood to bicker with you!"
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