We crushed Vignoles and Chardonel this morning, plus Clyde brought in some Concord this afternoon, so all in all, it’s been a big day. I did think to snap a few pictures at various times this morning, and thought you all would enjoy a snapshot of what goes on during a processing day.
First off, the fog was AMAZING this morning. Anyone who knows me, knows I like fog pictures, so I couldn’t resist this sight this morning:
Bins of grapes and fog-enshrouded hillsides. With sunbeams, no less! Magical.
Clyde finishes his coffee and asks “how’s my hair?”
Polly peeks out from behind the tractor and says “Your hair looks fine, now get to work!” She’s awfully bossy.
One of our challenges this morning is that we had all different sizes of containers that the grapes came to us in. After each size, Clyde had to readjust the bar that holds the bins on our bin dumper when it’s dumping the grapes out. Here’s Clyde and Julie adjusting the bar for the second time this morning.
That’s what all the destemmed and crushed grapes look like inside the press. Scrumptious looking, no? No? Oh well, I understand. Trust me, the wine tastes a lot better than these grapes look right now!
Now at this point, you might be wondering what all our animals do while we are working so hard. Do they have jobs? Are they integral parts of this operation? The answer, is yes they do! For instance:
Pepe is chief holder-downer-of-the-straps. It’s a critical job since you never know when one of those crazy straps will try to escape. Maggie was sleeping during the whole operation. Someone has to sleep on the job after all!
After the bins are emptied, they all get a rinse, and that’s what Julie is doing in the next photo:
The blue bins in front of Julie are collapsable bins. We are not too fond of those, but they certainly store much more compactly! Julie is cleaning out a bin we call a ‘T-bin’ which holds about 1 ton of grapes when full. We also had bins that were half the size of the T-bin today…the picture of Clyde and Julie up on top of the bin dumper showed one of the half bins.
Finally, all the grapes are in the press, and the bins are all washed, so Clyde loads up the empty bins to be returned to their owner.
So that’s a quick look at our morning. As I’m writing this, it’s about 6pm and Julie is just about finished cleaning up the press. We started at 7am this morning, so it’s been a full day. I’ll share more of the wine making process soon, but for now, I’m going to go figure out what to fix for dinner. Have a wonderful evening! Cheers.