Monthly Archive for August, 2014
These 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.
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.
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.