This week we are emptying barrels and preparing the wine for bottling. These are mostly Pinot Noir with some Syrah that winemaker Bruce McGuire has selected for the regular Pinot Noir bottling as well as the small clone and vineyard selected lots.
The image shows the extraction of the wine from the barrel by pressured nitrogen eliminating the need to pump. The rod in the barrel is called a ‘bulldog’, and I have no idea why, which has a gas line that fills the empty cavity with nitrogen under pressure. The wine is then collected in a stainless steel tank.
The ‘bulldog’ draws the wine at the bottom just above the sediment. Today we have three of these working at the same time. In the image he is drawing off, by hand, some of the wine so that the bulldog will not cause the barrel to spill.