15 March 2013

March in the Vineyard

Technically vintage started in late February this year, but I wasn't involved until the 1st March, so I'm going to call it March for the records.  Here's a quick and very simplified photo tour of chardonnay being made (although the photos above are obviously not chardonnay, the second one is the juice from pinot as it appears just out of the press - hard to imagine that turns into premium wine!):

Two main bits of equipment: the de-stemmer and the press
Fruit is put into the top of the de-stemmer
It is separated into stems and fruit
The stems are spat out for composting
While the fruit (including seeds and skin) gets pumped into the press
It's put under pressure and pushes all the juice out, leaving
the skin and seeds (the must) in the top of the press
The juice is pumped into the appropriate tank
and the winemaking process is underway
One of the guys working at vintage told me about a really
successful worm farm that he made by putting the used
must out on the ground under plastic for a  few months.
So I decided to give it a go.
 The stems will be composted, although I did confirm with a
pig farmer friend that piggies will eat them, so we'll try to
find some local pigs for the next lot of stems.


  1. How fun! We have friends with a winery, and Chardonnay and Pinot are the two varietals most commonly grown in our viticultural area here on California's Central Coast. Both seem to be tolerant of our coastal summer fog and cool breezes. I love the idea of nothing going to waste, and ending up with happy worms (or pigs!).

  2. So interesting as always. And now I fancy a glass of pinot.

    1. Yes it does that to you! (I'm drinking a glass of bubbly as I write this - which has both pinot and chardonnay in it, just to cover both bases!)