All in the Barn

We got all the Selene grapes in by Tuesday October 25th this year. The last cabernet pick was Stagecoach Vineyards. It came in at 9 tons and it looks good in the tank.

It sure is nice to have it all in the barn. We had some rain yesterday, and we are expecting more tonight. There are still a lot of grapes out there. Selene doesn’t have any more, but there are still people that need to get grapes off the vines, so we are wishing for some good weather for them.

A huge weight is lifted when harvest is over. You are left a little depressed emotionally and physically. All the sleep depravation and all the work catches up with you. My theory is as long as it takes to get worn out with harvest, that’s how long it takes to get back to normal. I can remember so many harvests thinking that once I was done, I could get back to everything I was used to. I tried to cook a nice meal, and almost cut my finger off. I realized then that I couldn’t perform at the level I was used to. It’s a good lesson for all of us, when you take a lot away from yourself you have to build yourself back up before you can really act normal again.

I’m really happy with everything this harvest. I look forward to putting together some Sauvignon Blanc blends, and getting ready for that bottling in February, and evaluating all the reds when they are done with primary and malolatic fermentation.

I received a question about what a typical day is like now that all the grapes are in. There is still a lot going on in the winery. That’s the thing about finishing with the grapes. It’s a great relief, especially when you are paying for the grapes. You know you have them all now, how many of them you have, how many dollars are going out the door to pay for them, and that they are safe in the tank.

However, there is still a lot of work to do. There are things to stay in touch with on a daily basis, such as pump-overs and checking fermentations. Things are changing very quickly, so tasting wine in fermenters (checking for spoiling organisms) making pressing decisions and pump over changes (for extraction) become more important. Just like the old Japanese saying, ‘When the battle is over, it’s time to tighten your helmet cords.’ In other words, when you think you are done, that’s just when it really begins.