Here's a recap of the past few days.
Thursday we spent all day at the winery.
Friday we started the day with picking Chardonnay at Chaine d'Or. Most of the Chardonnay had been damaged by sunburn so we knew this would be a difficult process. We set up the shaded table below to cut out sunburned berries one at a time. It was a long slow process and at most we think we'll have enough Chardonnay just for personal use at parties from 2010.
When we were done at the winery we had to drive down to Aptos to drop of bins for the next days pick. We got home after 9PM.
It was a long, slow day of mostly waiting. We finally left the vineyard at 3PM with only half the grapes we were expecting. We couldn't wait any longer. There's not enough outdoor lighting at the winery to work in the dark and it is an hour drive from Aptos to Woodside.
We processed just under one ton of Pinot Noir. The fruit was very ripe and we had to add about 14 gallons of water to lower the sugar to a level that will ferment ok. This will be a hard wine for us to make. Usually we just take initial readings, add yeast food and then check Brix daily. With the high Brix, and water addition on this we'll have to take full readings all along and continue to add yeast food through fermentation.
Saturday we also had to transfer the Chardonnay out of the settling tank and into a tank to ferment. We're going to do a stainless steal fermentation this year. Mostly because the amount is so small.
I know I've talked before about how we wrap all our bins in plastic to keep bees out but I've never posted a picture before. Here's what the bin looks like with the top on and sealed in plastic wrap. There's a ton of Pinot Noir fermenting inside.
Sunday we had another busy morning of punch downs and taking readings at the winery. We also had to be at the truck rental at 7AM to return the truck from Saturday.
Monday the last 3/4 of a ton of Pinot Noir came in and we processed it in the morning. The Brix was not as high but we still added 8 gallons of water. It was just Stefania, Jerry and I working but we still managed to get home at 3PM after cleaning the winery.
Tuesday I'll be back at my day job. Stefania and Jerry are going to harvest and process three of the Haut Tubee vineyard (home, Church and OttiGurr) on their own. I'm not sure yet how I feel about it. It will be the first processing I've ever missed. Stef knows her stuff inside and out though and I know she'll do a great job, it's just weird to miss it. I hope they will make it home before 5PM.