Local Wine Co's Blog


Harvest (day2 hands touch soil) by moegrier
October 13, 2010, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Per last week’s post detailing my first harvest may I now present you with day two.

Up at 7am, in the vineyard by 730 the picking (or should I say sorting) had begun.

 

Sunrise on the way to the vineyard (Davis Family Vineyards 'Soul Patch' vineyard).

 

I met Guy, his son Cole, buddy Rodney and a group of pickers (there were about 5 of them) down in the Pinot Noir vineyard.

 

Pinot Noir on the vine.

 

Guy gave us a quick rundown of what we would be doing for the next few hours (and by few I mean 8). Cole, Rodney and I were instructed to follow the tractor/pickers through the vineyard. As the pickers tossed baskets of grapes into two giant tubs we would sort through the clusters and remove all the raisins and leaves.

 

The tractor.

 

 

Pinot Noir off the vine.

 

For the next 8 hours we sorted through 12 tons of grape clusters. There were all sorts of bugs crawling through the grapes as we sorted; lady bugs, spiders, ear wigs… good thing I didn’t have any issues with little critters. The sugars from the grapes made everything you touch stick to you. The high temperatures and lack of shade made our job even more of a delight. It was a very hot (the temperature in Guy’s truck read 111 at one point) very sticky, very long afternoon.

Around 330pm we had officially finished picking and sorting.

Next on the agenda, preparing the grapes for the fermentation tank.

We headed to Moshin Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA this is where Guy does all of his fermenting.

Each bin containing one ton of pinot noir grapes would be run down the shaker table, onto a sorting table, into a destemmer, and finally into the fermentation tank.

 

Shaker and sorting table.

 

 

Stems from the destemmer.

 

 

Pinot Noir finds its new home in the fermentation tank.

 

This process took roughly 2 hours to complete… it felt like 30 minutes compared to what we had just accomplished.

Next came the clean-up.

This was probably my least favorite part of the day. Ever single spec of Pinot Noir had to be removed from the shaker and sorting tables, destemmer, hoses, bins… No grape residue could be left behind. When Rodney told me this I thought he was kidding, how were we ever going to get every grape morsel cleared away?

 

The clean-up.

 

We left Moshin around 730pm that night exhausted but yet very excited (this 2010 vintage of Pinot Noir was going to be killer).

I don’t think I had really expected to work as hard as I did that day… wine makers are extremely hard, very dedicated workers.

My experience that day will be one that I remember forever.

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