After the excitement of our first grapes we had another lull…
On Thursday we went and sampled the Chardonnay and looked at another Pinot Noir vineyard. The Chard is getting there – at about 20 or so Brix. The Pinot vineyard that we looked at though, not so good. It was a pretty steep hillside and the entire lower half of it was DESTROYED by deer. It actually looked like it had been picked already, that is how thorough the deer were! The top half grapes looked pretty good, however they were starting to shrivel a bit. My boss asked the owner to turn up the irrigation a bit – plump up those grapes a bit before they die!
After lunch we went on a field trip. We were buying some used barrels from another winery and went to pick them up. In addition to going to pick them up we took a little tour of the facility. The winery was beautiful – I had been there again, but going through with someone who worked in the wine making side of things there was a different experience entirely. He was able of tell us all of the cool little reasons that they did things “just so.” For example, the cellar is cooled from the floor AND the ceiling and is kept always at 62 degrees. I mentioned though, that they wouldn’t really have to cool the floor if they hadn’t been in a location that is notorious for some hot ground! The winery we were at was next door to a very famous winery that had planned a big underground cave only to find that there were springs not too far below the surface that heated up the ground.
Friday was fun. Because there is really NOTHING to do right now, I had the day off. My roommate’s brother and friend are making a bit of wine (and both work in wineries) and needed help picking. We went and helped pick grapes. I imagine that if I had to do this and make sure that I was going fast and getting the best stuff, I don’t think that I would like it so much. Going and doing it just for a couple of hours for fun – just to help out with no real expectations of doing a particularly great job – was great! I kind of got lost on my way there so I didn’t end up even doing as much as the rest of the people (because I was late.) They picked some Gewurztraminer that was a bit riper than they would have liked, and some Chardonnay that was a little less ripe to compensate for acidity. They are going to do a blend – I imagine it will be pretty aromatic and hopefully bright – probably in stainless.
These are some action shots….
Chardonnay with a bit of “sunburn”