Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sparkling Wine Harvest and Pressing

Hello All,

Busy day yesterday as we bottled wine in the morning for our good friends at Miles Wine Cellars, then cooled off through the evening and night by crushing our first grapes of the vintage.  Always a blast to open up the press for the first time in ten months and see if anything has happened on the inside, but it all looked good and Kelby got the press cleaned and ready to go by early afternoon.  At the same time we had our viticultural team out hand-picking the chardonnay grapes we would be pressing so that we could be as gentle as possible for the 2010 vintage of our Sparkling Blanc de Blancs:

With the grapes picked as whole clusters, we were ready to load them into the press.  Compared to making our other wines, you can see that the amount of physical labor that goes into making our sparkling wine is rather high.  Not only have the whole clusters been picked by hand, John Kaiser - our vineyard manager - and Pete Howe load these individual bins into the press by hand as well.

By pressing the grapes as whole clusters instead of crushed berries we can only fit in about 50% of the normal weight of grapes into the press, which means we had two press loads to deal with last night instead of one.  Nevertheless, this is best for treating the grapes as carefully as possible and the juice we got was fantastic.

Dog Days of Summer:
 John and Max have a special bond.

As late a night as it was after cleaning up the crush pad and press after the pressing completed, there is no doubt that it was a great day.  Everyone here loves vintage and the first day of harvest brought smiles to everyone's face and good-natured ribbing of one another.  It may be one of the hottest days we've ever harvested, but no complaints about the weather this year from us at Fox Run's winery!

We'll keep you posted on what happens with our sparkling wine juice, as well as what else is happening around the winery from this point forward.  It was another early day here as we had more bottling to do, but if you have any questions about what we've been up to (or why) please do ask us below!

Music of (Yester)Day:

Support artists, buy the music you like!

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