Third week of March

Monday 14th – Friday 18th

It’s a busy week of fruit processing, pressing finished tanks, pump-overs, and punch downs. This week we received mostly Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Merlot, and I think some Cabernet as well. But on Friday morning, Simon and I had to dig out a 3-ton whole bunch ferment. It was a Pinot Noir that we didn’t de-stem. Whole cluster Pinot Noir is common, but the difficult part is draining the tank and getting the skins to press. (You press the skins of a red wine ferment after it’s done, to get all the wine that’s left over in the skins. And in a whole bunch fermentation, many of those berries are still intact and contain lots of juice/wine.) The tank is too short to just open the door and empty the skins into a bin, from there you would just dump the bin into the press. And we can’t use an agar pump like we normally would, the whole bunches would just clog up the pump. So to empty this tank: drain all the free run wine, then get inside the tank and bucket/shovel the grapes out over the top and into the press. Basically that hard way. It’s a smaller tank. Maybe 6-7 feet in diameter, and probably 6 feet tall. And the more Simon and I stood in the tank on top of the grapes, the more compact it became and harder to shovel out. But we finally got it done. That was definitely a work out.  We tasted the wine as it was coming out of the press. And it was really floral with some tannins and you can definitely get some of the stem characteristics. I really liked it, and if it’s paired with a new French oak barrel, that wine will be fantastic.

And then finished the day with more pump-overs and pressing one more pinot noir lot.