We are fully into the swing of production with Chardonnay for sparkling wine and Pinot Noir for rose being trucked in yesterday. Which means my role in white receival is now in action!
The overall process goes something like this: This may be more for my memory benefit than your reading enjoyment.
- Wake up at 5am – AHHHHHHHHH
- Bike to work – this does help me wake up which is a small bonus
- Team meeting at 6am
- Go to white receival’s home
- Check the lines and pipes from the press to the receival tank. There are numerous beer fines if you hook up to the wrong tank. It sounds easier than what it is. Actually it probably is quite easy but with so much going on in my brain – it seems a lot more complicated. These lines go for about 100m and there are a few interchanges where pipes with new numbers meet up.
- Make sure the receival tank is clean – with a rinse out and dry ice
- Clean out the hoses from the press to the pump
- grapes go into press (I got to control the receival bin the other day which felt amazing *nerd alert)
- Free run juice comes out of the press
- TASTING!!! With so much machinery and cleaning going on, it’s a lovely moment when you pop your head into the receival bin and see the juice, smell it and taste it. I find it a wonderful reminder of what I’m actually doing here.
- Pressing and tasting continues with the winemakers deciding when to make the cut. There is a balance here with what the winemakers are striving to achieve and also what the accountants would like them to achieve.
- Then it’s all about cleaning – again. Taking the marc to the pits, cleaning drains, presses, hoses, bins
I keep reminding myself that there is a logical process and order to what needs to take place. And this calms me slightly when all the ‘newness’ can become overwhelming. In a week (or two) I look forward to being full immersed and more knowledgeable about the process and (hopefully) won’t need to take quite so many pics of valves to reassure myself that the right ones are open (or closed). I’ll let you know when the beer fines start to add up!
Side note: I got slightly homesick today for London (who knew) when I saw the preview for The Lady in the Van. This took me by suprise as it’s usually me in London getting homesick for N.Z. I guess I’m pretty lucky to have two great places that feel like home.