Monthly Archive for August, 2014

More of Harvest

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Images of the Harvest

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8.29.14-night-harvest-5These images show both hand and machine picking. Because of the unusually large harvest and the quick ripening grapes we felt the need to use one or two nights of machine picking. It so happens, on this one night, the pickers kicked a.. and beat the machine.

The picking machine, or harvester, has the same gentle Pollenc de-stemmer that we use, the difference is that the grapes come to the winery de-stemmed. I am not sure if we will use the harvester again, at the moment all tanks are full and grapes need to be pressed.

More about the Harvest

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8.28.14-harvest-3We are processing Pinot Noir and it looks to be a substantial harvest. Difficult to explain because after 2 years of drought you might assume that the harvest would be small.

The images show a new configuration of our grape handling process. The grapes picked at night are nice and cool despite warm days. They are de-stemmed in our ‘Pollenc’ machine which is incredibly gentle in seperating the grapes from the stem. The grapes pass through two conveyors where all extraneous material is removed. From the second conveyor they fall into an augur which pushes the grapes to the pump from where they go directly to the fermenting.

The whole process is very gentle and the secret is not to damage the skins. The skins give the wine its color and damaged skins can also give undesired flavors.

Santa Barbara Newspress Article about First Crush

8-26-2014 5-19-47-3 PM>Click here to view full article (pdf).

Inner Staves

Older barrels, 4-5 years old, lose their ability to transmit the subtle oak flavors we look for in wine. Every year at the beginning of harvest this expert crew comes to the winery and in a matter of minutes install inner oak staves in older barrels.
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First day of Crush – Thursday August 21, 2014

Pinot Noir Grapes picked Wednesday night from 8:00pm to 12:00am. No Champagne we celebrated with coffee.
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Wednesday, August the 20th: First Day of Harvest at Santa Barbara Winery and the obligatory Toast over the first box of grapes – Pinot Gris. Here’s to a good harvest.

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Pre-Harvest

Getting ready for harvest. Maintenance and Winemaker Bruce McGuire testing Pinot Noir at Lafond Winery in the Santa Rita Hills.
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August Dinner at the Vineyard

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