Harvest is here!
Our 2011 harvest officially started last Tuesday. We brought all of our Pinot Gris in that day, and then were able to relax a little bit on Wednesday before picking our first blocks of Pinot Noir Thursday morning! So far we’ve brought in blocks of all of our eight Pinot Noir clones (2A, 23, 115, 667, 777, 4, 5, and 12), and we are expecting to finish picking the remainder of our Pinot Noir by the end of today!
Here are a couple of photos of harvest so far!
Some of our Clone 4 Pinot Noir bunches soaking in their last bit of sun before being harvested:
Our first blocks of Pinot Noir coming into the winery:
And here are our fermenting clonal Pinot Noir lots being punched-down by hand. We ferment these wines in individual barrels, and do what are called “punch-downs” on them to gently break apart the berries, so that the skins of the berries, which contain all of the grapes’ color, flavor, and tannins, will slowly begin imparting those characteristics to the grape juice. It also keeps the grape skins that have slowly begun forming a cap at the top of the barrel from becoming too dry, by periodically re-submerging them in the grape juice.
In case you’re wondering why there is steam coming out of the barrels, don’t worry! It is just dry ice, which we add it in small amounts to keep the must – or fermenting grape juice – cool!
Here is a barrel of our Clone 23 Pinot Noir post punch-down! Doesn’t it have a beautiful color to it?
I’ll be back with more harvest updates as harvest continues. For now, happy harvest 2011!