Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday Crimson Clover Harvest

Saturday morning we were up again before 6 AM and on the road by 6:30. We arrived right at 7:00 AM at Crimson Clover and started picking. Here are the very first Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to come in:

The sun just starting to peek through about 7:30. We have to harvest early to get the grapes into the winery why they are still cool and to be able to do all the clean up at the end of the day with out working too far into the night.
The crew was our regular group. Jerry and his family and friends plus Stef , Millie and me. We had some volunteers join us later in the morning, but the crew was about 75% done by that time. We picked just about 1 1/2 tons in 3 hours.

The grapes loaded into a 1/2 ton bin for transport to Chaine d 'Or. Stef and I dump the 30 pound picking bins into the 1/2 ton bins one at a time and sort out anything we don't want here in the field. You can see there are no leafs or other debris in the bins.

Arrival at Chaine d 'Or. The crush pad was already set up the night before so we'd be ready as soon as we arrived. Here Ysidro and Mille get ready to start moving grapes into the crusher. Processing went very smoothly and took just about 20 minutes from start until the lab work was complete and the fermentation bins were covered. Brix was 27, TA .84 and pH 3.64.

Our friend Eric got the job of foot treading about 200 pounds of Zinfandel for out Haut Tubee blend that comes from a small vineyard that neighbors Crimson Clover. It was Eric's first full picking day and he was a little surprised that it was just 20 minutes of actual winemaking squeezed around 2 hours of driving, 4 hours of picking and 5 hours of cleaning. He fell asleep on the cellar floor about 3:00 PM

And there is a lot of cleaning. Besides cleaning up from the pick and processing we also prepped and cleaned for the Chardonnay harvest the next day/ Here Jerry gets the press cleaned and ready. The crusher also needed to get loaded on the truck and positioned.

Driving home about 6:30 Stef and I both commented that all in all it was a very smooth day and we felt relieved that it was ONLY 12 hours and not longer. We have a good crew and everyone knows there jobs really well. We were asleep by 9 that night and ready for another long day Sunday.

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