Monthly Archive for November, 2012

Filling Barrels

Barrels are given a final rinse before being filled. The barrel cleaner after rinsing will fill the barrel with nitrogen, a neutral gas, to protect the wine during filling.

The water used in rinsing is drained by means of a long series of pipes, mostly underground, to a tanker. The collected water is then used in the vineyard.

Filling barrels.

Getting Ready for Winter

Enrique moving bales of straw to his truck which he will then spread on roads to prevent erosion.

Before planting our cover crop the ground is chiseled where it has been compacted by tractors during the growing season. Later seeds will be planted for a cover crop, again to protect from erosion.

End of Harvest

We are almost at the end of harvest. It has been a very good one with very high quality grapes. We have one more day of Petite Sirah, a variety that is usually the last in and then we are done.

Meanwhile, however, all our fermenters are full and need to be pressed and the wine barreled. In the first image we are draining the fermented wine which has settled at the bottom below the cap. The large hose pumps the wine to the press which screens grapes which are invariably pumped as well.

The second image, now that the wine has been drained, we have to get the grapes. A large amount can be removed by reaching in through the opening but eventually someone has to jump in.

The bins are then loaded to the press.

The actors in this drama are winemaker Bruce McGuire and his two stalwart assistants, Dan and Alex, who have been doing harvest with him for several years.