Wine Talk

Snooth User: AdrianSmith

A Glimpse Of Sonoma County Harvest

Posted by AdrianSmith, Oct 9, 2014.

Hello all!

Put together a nice little timeline of photo's from over the past several weeks in Sonoma County. I really do love Harvest time each year. Obviously in CA everyone is freaking out a little at the prospect of being fined, so I enjoy my new title of 'intern' for a couple of weeks to make sure safety is a must. 

http://www.britwit.co/britwitblog/h...

Have any of you attended a harvest this year? If so, feel free to upload pictures and let us know which winery and region :) 

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 9, 2014.

Here's an earlier thread where we were discussing the ban on volunteers at wineries...

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Oct 9, 2014.

Thanks DMCKER, have edited my post so I'm not treading on already stomped ground!

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Reply by outthere, Oct 9, 2014.

It's a little les glamorous than you think.

The day begins:

 

Fruit gets delivered:

 

Sorting happens at the winery. Your sorting caption was of fruit thinning. Removing MOG before hitting the destemmer:

 

Then after destemming, sometimes added hand sorting of berries, the fruit goes into a hopper which feeds a pump:

 

Pumped into tanks for cold soak:

 

Juice is then drained and pumped back over the berries:

 

After fermentation the juice is again drained and pumped into another tank.

 

The berries are dug out of the tank and sent to the press:

 

More to come, gotta go to work!

 

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Oct 11, 2014.

Love love love love it! Thank you :) 

Especially a fan of the feet pics haha, not all too often you see that these days. 

Thanks so much for sharing these mate!

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Reply by outthere, Oct 11, 2014.

The pumpovers are twice a day. After sterilizing equipment the Morning pumpovers go from 7AM til anout 1PM. After lunch the afternoon pumpovers begin repeating on the same tanks from the morning round. That goes til about 8PM after which you eat dinner, clean some more and hit the sack getting ready to do it all over again the next day.

While the juice is being spread over the berries......the berries that are coming out the bottom with the juice are scooped into 5 gal buckets and lugged up a ladder and poured back into the tank...

In between you are testing brix and pH on each tank as the juice flows. Lots of heavy lifting, lots of sticky juice all over you and your clothes, lots and lots and lots of cleaning. Lots of water too. Average water usage is 80 gal water for every gal of wine. That doesn't included water used in farming, just production. Everything is recycled.

Hoses and electrical cords crisscross the crush pad. Trips and falls are not uncommon. This was a winemakers reward for slipping on a hose last week. Note the cracked patella...

Oh the glamour of winemaking.

 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Oct 11, 2014.

OT - What's the weirdest thing you've found in MOG (Material Other than Grapes)? 

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Reply by outthere, Oct 11, 2014.

A frog is probably the strangest one for me.

 

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Reply by Wine Walk Columnist, Oct 12, 2014.

Love the smells of Harvest! The sweetness of the Harvest and the buzz of Yellow Jackets as we share with Mother Nature!

Weirdest thing in MOG are snakes in machine harvested fruit! Machine harvested fruit comes in at cooler temperatures than hand-harvested fruit and is not influenced by rogue yeast and bacteria. I think machine harvest fruit is better quality than hand harvested 9except for snakes) since much of the hand-harvest fruit is slow to come yielding hotter temperatures of incoming fruit AND more stones since hand harvested fruit is paid by the pound normally!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 12, 2014.

Um, yeah, temperature is obviously much more important than the quality and ripeness of the grapes.  Not sure how those apocryphal stones weigh into it. (Bad pun.)  But getting the grapes picked in low temp is all about when you start and how many people are doing the picking.  Unless you are selling mechanical pickers.  If it made better wines, I think the top chateaux would be abandoning hand picking, but not seeing a lot of that.

Optical sorting is making some inroads, but I'll leave it to OT who worked harvest this year to tell us what's up with that.  I've heard that it's used in to lower the necessity for hand selecting, but hasn't replaced it.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 12, 2014.

"temperature is obviously *much more important* than the quality and ripeness of the grapes"

expliquez, s'il vous plais...

So the grapes are still green, with crappy skin damage and even bursting from rain but that's OK if they come in cool??

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 12, 2014.

Hence the "um, yeah" before the comment.  I was out of gifs for tongue in cheek. Ridiculous assertion that machine picking is better.  If I could find a connection to the picking equipment industry, I would have taken it for a sales pitch and banned it.  But, hey, I'm open to different opinions, however much I disagree,  and I can stoop to sarcasm once in a while, too. 

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 13, 2014.

Once again, the lack of back-channel info communicable in email and BB posting, even chat, strikes a blow. I was in too much of a rush, and in shock to hear you saying something like that, to parse the 'um, yeah'.

Snooth could always offer all the emoticon-ish options of, say, Line. If there's anyone left doing coding at Snooth they could work on wine-ifying them and making them a bit classier. Then they might even have another product to sell.  ;-)

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Reply by dvogler, Oct 13, 2014.

No DM, you're just a jerk! 

 

:)

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 13, 2014.

I'm devastated.

Hope some good wine was fueling that witty repartee, DV.  ;-(

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 13, 2014.

I should have used an emoticon rather than rely on other posters who have read hundreds of my posts realizing that I didn't agree with the opinion expressed by a new poster. 

So I'll make it clear:  MACHINE HARVESTING < HAND HARVESTING. (For those rusty on math symbols, or fans of Orwell, Machine Harvesting bad, hand harvesting good, even double plus good.)

Also, machine harvesting only works if the ground is flat enough or the rows oriented up and down hill rather than across the face of a hill.  Flat means poor drainage and soils more suited to other things and, in Napa, warm valley floor temps in many cases that make alcoholic, goopy wines.  Planting in downhill rows (Gaja likes to do this) often means giving up the best sun exposure and has implications for erosion.  Much like biodynamic wines, which often seem better and more alive, the decision to hand harvest is often one that reflects an overall concern for quality over convenience.  Whether it is the determinative factor is perhaps open to discussion--probably machine harvesting is less problematic in grapes that ripen more evenly than Zinfandel, say, but even ripening is never a sure thing and it's the willingness to sacrifice  yield for quality that makes wineries' reputations. 

I once asked Clay Mauritson about hand harvesting and dry farming in Rockpile.  He said they weren't really choices--there was no place you could plant rows that the tractors wouldn't tip over, and there was no water to speak of for irrigation.  Those slopes and the exposures and that struggle for water were the reason the wines tasted the way they do and the reason he and his brothers planted there in the first place. 

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Reply by EMark, Oct 13, 2014.

WWC, welcome to the Forum.  We, actually, do appreciate new views, here, but I have to say that making a bold generalization will, generally, receive a sharp retort.

Why don't you tell us a bit about yourself--your wine background, your favorite wines.  

How do snake infused wines taste?   I'm not sure I've had one.  Do you have to let them aerate very log?

OK, lest anybody be confused, the last paragraph was totally in jest.  I really don't care how snake infused wines taste.  

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 13, 2014.

Plenty of market for snake liquor in Asia. Valued for the strength and stamina it ostensibly provides...

 

 

A vid on making Habushuu at home...  (habu: a very poisonous pit viper from southern Japan, some species down into Taiwan and SE Asia; shuu: alcoholic beverage, originally including Sake and distilled white liquors, now covering everything from overseas, too, in the generic sense).

 

Apparently the snakes used to be bigger in the old days (shades of St. George & the Dragon):

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 13, 2014.

Eat the worm in mezcal, but the snake?  I'll pass.  This from a guy who has eaten iguana (or actually garrobo, but no one in the US makes the distinction).

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 13, 2014.

You just drink its essence, though you can google how-tos and recipes for skinning and eating the snakes if you prefer that to steeping them.  ;-)

Actually I've eaten snakes (rattlers and gophers and garters) back in the hills a few times. Kill, skin, roast them over a fire. Better if you have some way to add herbal scents (wild sage, etc., pepper also good), though not really that bad at all. I can think of a few wines that would match them well, but we were just doing purified water with electrolytes added. Not sure I'd want to eat those monster scorpions in some of those bottles anyway, anyhow.

Iguanas (some of them are consumed, too) can be good eatin'. Lighter wines for them since they're less oily.

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 13, 2014.

Just watched a couple survivalists eat a snake on one of nat-geo's new reality shows, naked and afraid. After many days of not eating, they were loving it.

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