Home, home on the range

I’m home this weekend – for the full weekend! Wow, what a change of pace from the last few weeks. To celebrate, I’m giving 10% off all the souvenir items in the salesroom today (Friday), tomorrow and Sunday. The catch is that you have to buy them here at the winery and mention that you read this blog entry.   So come on down and enjoy a nice picnic on the porch, and stock up on t-shirts, glasses, or cork stoppers.

For those following the bottling process, you saw we had bottles arrive on Thursday last week. Clyde finished all his filtering yesterday, and now we are just waiting for our corks to arrive. They were supposed to be shipped yesterday, so we should be able to begin bottling next week. Yay! Cheers everyone.

Weird & Wild Wine Tank

Missouri Wine Tartrates

I’m showing you all kinds of yummy stuff these days.  This picture is showing the doorway into one of our 1000 gallon wine tanks.  Clyde has filtered all the wine that was in the tank and now we are left with the remains from the cold-stabilization process: tartrate crystals.  OK, hopefully I get this one correct; these crystals are potassium bitartrate which forms when the wine chills down or sits for a long period of time.  The potassium in the fresh wine combines with the tartaric acid to make these crystals.

This year the crystals looked very odd!  They built up on the inside of the door like stalagmites, or mud dauber nests.  Clyde has never seen tartrates form like this before so he grabbed the camera to share.  We saved a few of these for show and tell at the winery, in case you’d like to see these in person.  In the meantime, here’s a closer look at these miniature tartrate towers:

Missouri Wine Tartrates on tank door

On a closer look, they look like coral.  Or worms.  I know it’s not appetizing-looking (especially when I describe them so delightfully), but these crystals are actually harvested (at much larger wineries than ourselves) and ground up into a fine powder so you can use them in your meringue cookies.  That’s right, these crystals are actually cream of tartar.  Cool huh?

We do filter our wine so these don’t actually make it into the bottle.  But if you do ever get a wine and notice sediment or small white flakes in the bottle, those are the same thing as what you see above, and you don’t have to worry that they will hurt you.  The are gritty and annoying though, so just pour your wine through a coffee filter to keep the crystals out of your wineglass.


Truck unloading

I’m back after a busy end-of-week flurry of deliveries & tastings.  Sorry to have waited so long to post here.  A note from the comments in the last couple of weeks…thanks so much to all who posted well-wishes on our anniversary.  Also, thank you to Vivian for i.d.-ing those pretty little flowers for me….I’m going to order your reference book!

And for all the techies out there – I am not one.  Which is probably obvious, since I clearly showed you a rotary lobe pump in my last post, not a centrifugal pump as stated.  Oops.  Sorry for all the confusion.

That being said, I have more confusion to show you, which happened waaaaay back on Thursday morning.  Our bottles arrived!  We can bottle again!  Good news for those Yadkin Creek fans out there that have been waiting for more product.

Here is a very large Semi truck filled with pallets ‘o bottles:

 unloading a truck at our missouri winery 1

Clyde takes a pallet off of the truck, and drops it next to the cottage.  While he’s doing that, Jeff sets up chains so the pallets at the back of the truck can be dragged to the front:

unloading a truck at our missouri winery 2

unloading a truck at our missouri winery 3

After the pallet is up near the front, the chains are moved out of the way, and Clyde picks it up with the forks on the tractor (notice what the front tire looks like before he actually picks up the pallet ‘o bottles):

unloading a truck at our missouri winery 4

And now check out that front tire as Clyde lowers the pallet down to the ground:

unloading a truck at our missouri winery 5

Hope it doesn’t pop!  Now that the pallet is off the truck, Clyde takes it to his temporary drop point:

unloading a truck at our missouri winery 6

The guys unloaded 15 pallets off the truck on Thursday  morning.  I had to get the oil changed on our car and then take wine down to Hy-Vee at Lake of the Ozarks.  By the time I had made the delivery, the bottles were all put away under cover.  Good thing too, since it poured cats and dogs on Friday!

There is more filtering going on today.  Clyde was able to filter about 1000 gallons on Wednesday last week.  But he hasn’t been able to do any more filtering since he was busy working the salesroom.  He’s so versatile…. savvy winemaker one day, concentrating tractor operator the next day, friendly salesperson the next.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!  Cheers.