Today I cleaned. Cleaned and cleaned. Tomorrow I will clean also. I cleaned three tanks. First we use a caustic/base and scrub any tartrates/gunk off of the inside. Then we rinse with water. Second we wipe down with citric acid. Then we rinse with water.
I wish that you could see how big these guys are! I climbed inside of them to do this cleaning. It would be more than big enough to have a small party in! I did the indoor ones first and just one of the outdoor ones. Tomorrow I will scrub some more.
The other thing I did today was to fill up a pump over tank/bin with water a gallon at a time. I did this to find out how many gallons it would hold as well as measured the distance from the top after each gallon was added. Turns out that it holds 110 gallons finally when there is just one inch remaining from the top.
I have heard about other wineries getting grapes last week and some getting grapes this week. Not so sure when we are going to be getting ours. My boss is going to drive out to a couple of vineyards in the Russian River area to check brix tomorrow – I heard that they were getting to be right around 20, so probably sometime soon! Typically in Napa, people tend to start picking around 24. Sparkling and some whites a bit lower, same with some pinots…. The higher the brix, the higher the alcohol – Welcome to Napa!
brix – the measure of sugar in the fruit and later the wine
tartrates – basically a salt of potassium that comes out of the fruit/wine. It sticks to the inside of tanks and is a pain to scrub off. You might also have seen it in bottles of wine if you’ve ever had a white wine with “wine diamonds” in it – it just has fallen out of solution due to being chilled.