Think you want to work a harvest? Want to find out what that really means? Follow our intern, Sarah Green, as she chronicles her experience as a first time cellar rat. This entry highlights hand stain-inducing task of pressing.
We have pressed the last of our ferments – two small lots of Syrah, from Atoosa’s Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and Richards Family Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. But there’s still a cellar to run. And now we have to turn all of this stuff into wine.
Pressing marks the end of the alcoholic fermentation and the beginning of the malolactic fermentation, which for Donelan happens in barrel. The first step is to drain the wine into barrel. This means trying not to overfill it, which – for those of you following along at home – is definitely something I have done before.
Somehow after all these months of trial and error, that kind of mistake stopped being a constant threat to me. I’m still a rookie who just tries to get through the day without ruining things – but that mythical feel for the cellar has started to creep up on me here and there.
After draining the ferment, barrels are full of “free run.” The next step is the actual Continue reading