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September 22, 2009

punching it down.With temps above 90°F  the last few days, the grapes are coming in fast and furious, and we’re cookin’ here at the winery!  Today we received Pinot noir fruit from the Maboroshi, Ritchie, van der Kamp and Thornton vineyards – 100% hand-sorting for these grapes, so I’m looking forward to a long night…  While our crew is baking in this weather, many fermentations are kicking off with enthusiasm and I’ve got to keep a close eye on those open-top vats.  We needed to get in some mid-day punchdowns to wet the caps and keep the ferments happy (crucial for keeping the good yeast healthy and the bad microbes at bay), so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work atop a vat of Russian River Valley Pinot…

cap in mid-punch

Katie checks the Pinot clustersAfter checking on the sorting table team (slow, but thorough!) I then trekked over to a neighboring vineyard to check the progress of a Pinot block that we’ll pick soon…  The quality of fruit this year is awesome – I’m so excited about the 2009 vintage!  We’ve got a great crew, and although it’s hot outside (I’m hoping to sneak a dip in the guesthouse pool one of these afternoons…), everyone’s putting in the extra effort to give the fruit the attention it deserves and keep on top of all that cleaning!  In fact, I think they deserve a pizza dinner tonight to break up the long hours!  Now, where are my take-out menus…?  Any suggestions for good take-out in Sonoma County?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 19, 2009 7:02 pm

    Have you considered swapping out your wine punch-down with the pneumatage process instead?

    It’s by far the the best way to automate your cap management in single or multiple tanks and also efficiently aerate you juice during fermentation to eliminate the formation of hydrogen sulfide and mercapatans

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