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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday October 6 - Do you know about T Bins

Tuesday provided more rain than we had hoped for. 1.25 inches, measured at the rain gauge in our vineyard. More than was reported at the official Napa Valley Ag weather stations in the Carneros and in Oakville. But we did get some sun today and things dried out a bit.

We moved some of our 2009 wine around to free up some small tank space and we kept watch on the Merlot which has already been picked.

The Merlot continues its cold soak, both in one of our large tanks and in a couple of T-Bins.

T-Bins with Temperature Control Apparatus attached.
T bins hold about 225 gallons and we can process about 8/10ths of a ton of grapes in each. I was surprised when I came to the Napa Valley how much wine is actually fermented in such tanks. Almost all of the small wineries use them to some degree or another. Some custom crush facilities have hundreds of them. We have only 8. They work well for small lots when we are only doing a single block or a small batch that we want to ferment by itself that might only be a ton or so of grapes.
We have cooled all of the Merlot down to 45 degrees and we are in the middle of that cold soak.  Tomorrow, we will turn off the cooling, let the tank warm up and add yeast and the race will be on. Billions of yeast cells working furiously to convert sugar into alcohol. I think we actually have more yeast cells in one of our large tanks, the their are dollars in the federal deficit.  Think about that for a moment.

It has been very interesting to watch the progression of color of the juice samples that we take during the cold soak.  Initially it was almost clear. After a day, a lite pink. 2 days and it was a darker pink and by today, the third full day, we are starting to see real color.  One more day and we will be ready to start the fermentation.

We also had another very interesting couple in our tasting room this afternoon, from Seattle. And, how the got to us is even more interesting.  I managed to get some e-mail addresses from a wine shop in New Jersey that thought they might have some customers who would like our wine... which they couldn't get.  One of their customers  who lives in New Jersey, and a former owner of the shop, who we have never met, e-mailed an order.  He liked the wines enough to join our wine club, which was, by itself, very satisfying because this guy seems to really know his wines.  Yesterday's visitor visited as a result of that club member's recommendation and after a nice time in the tasting room, they too joined the wine club.  Huzzah!

We continue to work on the Harvest Party for our wine club members this Saturday and we hope the weather will cooperate.  More rain is forecast for Thursday morning, but it shouldn't be much. I have my fingers crossed.

I am getting excited.  We officially release our 2008 Adagio on Saturday and it is a superb wine.  Wine club shipments will occur around the end of the month and we really have to get going on putting those orders together right after the Harvest Party.  No rest for the Farrmers.

Finally, while I don't usually comment on such things, I was saddened today by the death of Steve Jobs. He was truly the Thomas Edison of our time.  And, isn't it completely refreshing to think about someone that was truly brilliant, who did his job, and who didn't have any agenda or political ax to grind.  He just proved to be an extraordinary visionary.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could find a politician, just one, on either side of the isle who we could say the same thing about. Someone who was brilliant, who did their job, who was just interested in producing great results for all of us to use and enjoy and as to whom we could feel like we got a fair deal in doing so.

Cheers and Take Care.
More real work tomorrow.


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