After a super hot weekend (kind of reminded me of the Midwest!) that was super humid, we have had a busy week so far. I got to participate in “actual wine making” which entailed, you guessed it: cleaning.
On Monday and Tuesday we “racked.”
Racking typically is when you pump the wine in the barrels off of the lees and into a large tank, then you pump it back into the barrel. We did this with two different wines. Only instead of cleaning the lees out of the barrels, we pumped that in too! Basically we just stirred it all up. Since the barrels and barrel racks hadn’t been cleaned ever, I had the pleasure of power washing all of the racks on Monday while the guys did the racking and on Tuesday I got to rack while one of the guys did the power washing. Not going to lie, I power washed more thoroughly….
Finally, on Wednesday WE GOT GRAPES!!!!
The first of our four Russian River Pinot blocks were delivered in the morning.
We all made sure that the equipment was still nice and clean. In fact, we even rinsed and sanitized it again. Then we waited for dry ice to come because we process the grapes outside and it was pretty hot again. Don’t worry, though, I definitely kept busy cleaning! Finally around 3:00 or so dry ice came and we could get started!
One of the most interesting things that happened was that the owner of the winery got on the line and sorted with us! I like that he is about as “hands on” or more so than many other winery owners. The first thing, though, was a bottle of Champagne – or should I say “Sparkling Wine”…. A good tradition is always a bit of bubbly and a toast to the harvest with the first grapes. The two tons of Pinot were hand sorted kind of by yours truely, the owner, the wine maker and the cellar master. It got pretty sticky and went pretty quickly. It was a pretty good first batch.
Afterwards, of course we do a serious clean up.
At the end, we add more dry ice and let it rest. LET THE FERMENTATION BEGIN!!!