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Crush Inoculate Punching Press Topping Up Racking


Saturday September 14, 2002

8:00 am Jack & Neil leave Los Gatos in Jack's flatbed truck (after stopping at Starbucks so Neil can get his 32oz caffeine dose).
10:30 am Jack & Neil arrive in Gonzales at the ??? vineyard.  There they meet with Mark Manzano.  While the truck is being loaded with 4,218 pounds of grapes (for $4,000), Mark treats Jack & Neil to a taste of wines he made last year.  Neil says that if our wine turns out half as good as this, we will be very happy.
11:00 am Jack & Neil are back on the road heading North to the Santa Cruz mountains that we call home.  They realize that they had forgotten to measure the sugar content and instead of stopping, Neil climbs out the window and grabs a cluster!  He measures the level at 23.8 brix.  Excellent!
1:00 pm Jack & Neil arrive at the winery (Brian's house).
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Don't they look awesome!  They tasted wonderful too.
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And we start unloading the grapes one blue bucket at a time...
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Next we schlep the bucket (~80 pounds)  over to the stemmer/crusher.
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Into the stemmer/crusher they go...
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What a FINE piece of equipment this is!  Crushed grapes go down and into the red bucket.
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At the end go the stems with some skins on them.
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Of course the machine took constant attention...  Where's your hand Chuck?
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And Neil seemed to enjoy helping the crushed grapes into the bucket.
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When the bucket got full, we fed the machine another bucket.
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Yum.  Now a little Potassium Metabisulfite to kill the native yeasts and other critters that might be in that red bucket.
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Next the red buckets get poured into the primary fermenters.
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Almost full.  We filled up nine of these 60 gallon barrels and 12 gallons of starter.
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Up close.  Isn't it yummy looking?
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We're starting to get quite a pile of stems...
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Now Jeff's forking, and loading the bucket full for Chuck.  Heavy enough for you Chuck?  
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Karl is helping the hopper be more efficient and he still has all ten fingers.
Here's a movie of the process:

Click on the image to play the movie.
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Now we've got an even bigger pile of stems!
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Neil's mixing the primary fermenters.
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Twelve 6-packs were consumed during the crushing process (and dinner).
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Chuck doesn't look like he's just carried 3,000 pounds of grapes one bucket at a time, but he has.
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Nine primary fermenter barrels filled.
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Starting to work already.
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Brian's got his puncher ready...
4:00 pm Finally finished, with everything in the fermenters.  Now we clean up.  Luckily Brian has a pressure washer and we were done by 5.
5:00 pm Time to finish the beers and drink some wine!

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