Ramble On

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pressing the Seyval at Wisteria

Although we'd missed the picking and stomping by the time we arrived at Wisteria on Saturday, there were still other wine making activities going on, so I thought I might pitch in a bit on the odd jobs.  This put me in the middle of some good photo-blog opportunities, so I'm mainly writing the post today to share them.  There were quite a few people around - volunteers and winemakers - doing the real work of the day.

On Saturday, the grapes had all been gathered into the lugs, and when we got there, they were set up to go into the stemmer-crusher.  There is a random sampling that is used to calculate the weight of the grapes for reporting purposes, which translates to yield in wine - and this all gets reported into the Virginia ABC board for statistical and tax purposes.

Then they go into the machine.  They end up in huge vats that will be stored overnight (with ice and in a cooler, to prevent the wild yeasts from beginning fermentation) and then pressed on Sunday.  As a late arrival I just stationed myself in a spot to collect the empty lugs and then moved them over to where they could be cleaned for reuse.

Sunday came and there was a wine club event, which went on around the pressing activities.  We got there midway through the pressing, so I jumped in to help link the press and fill it with crushed grapes.  The juice is collected into a tub, then a pump moves it into the large steel tanks that Wisteria uses for primary fermentation on the white wines.

Just a few odd jobs here and there, I guess, and certainly I benefited from our experience being out for a few of the varieties last year.  When the 2013 Seyval is offered, though, I'll be able to say I helped with that one.

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