How is Harvest?

As Dry Creek Vineyard's Wine Club Administrator, this is a question I am asked at least two to three times a week. My usual response is: "It's going well, the grapes are coming in and the juice is happily fermenting in their respective tanks and barrels."  After answering the same way for several weeks, Click photo to enlarge!I exchanged my business attire and my comfortable climate controlled office for what I like to call my "grubby" clothes and the outside.

On Wednesday morning the cellar crew did not hesitate to put me right to work. I started my morning assisting our interns with pumpovers, which is the process used to circulate the juice to increase the flavor and color in our fabulous wines.  Then I got my hands dirty clearing the sump (a strainer used to keep the wine and skins away from each other) of the skins and seeds. After pumpovers, I spent the rest of the morning cleaning the floors of all the runaway grapes and miscellaneous debris.

The afternoon brought in a large load of grapes from the Rafanelli Vineyards and I was summoned by the Cellar Master to carry a load of dry ice to the top of the tank to give our new grapes some much needed CO2.

Finally, I was tasked with rehydrating yeast for one of our tanks. The yeast smelled like fresh bread right out of the oven. Feeding the yeast was an entirely different experience. While taking some wine from the large tank, instead of closing the valve, I opened it all the way and was sprayed from the head down with freshly pressed Zinfandel.  Needless to say, I did not go home as clean as I had arrived!

It was definitely a learning experience and I am glad to have a better understanding of what Harvest entails. I also have a much deeper respect for all of the hard work our cellar crew goes through to produce our fabulous wines. Now, back to what I do best; providing assistance to our club members in my nice clean and comfy office. I can honestly say that I am more than prepared to talk about how Harvest is going. I await your calls!

Salina Littleton, Wine Club Administrator

| | Comments (2)


George Wroblewski said:
October 25, 2011 8:23 AM

Hi Salina, good to see that you get stuck in and are willing to get your hands dirty.

JohnLopresti Author Profile Page said:
October 30, 2011 11:30 AM

There is a real inter-reliance which develops when working with the people closest to the fermenting grapes. Be happy the splashing was only 1 gallon, and that you learned which direction the valve shuts off. Imagine the effect if your helper was in the other cellar room with electric pumps running, so your shouts about how to shut off the splashing would be very dimly heard, if at all. Next, you are climbing down the ladder from tank walkway at firehouse velocity to shut off the pump personally, without any more plea for assistance. Net loss 100 gallons chardonnay. It's fun, but work safe; and be close to your associates.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by VSC_Girl (Salina) published on October 24, 2011 3:55 PM.

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