Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hot Off the Presses!

Here we are, it's press time. So after fermenting red wines for around one week the skins are removed and pressed to extract more juice/wine and other flavor components such as tannins. The fermentation process may not be completely over so we may still have a pretty sweet wine on our hands (literally). Anyway the skins are removed from the fermenting bins (the big white one that Eric is about to dive into) and placed into the press. In this process we use highly technical equipment to transfer the skins, as seen in Eric's hand and by his feet. Once the press is filled to the top, it is closed and a bladder inside fills with water creating huge amounts of pressure on the skin which squeezes out a lot of extra juice. What you see above are the Cabernet Sauvignon skins after being pressed and after we've removed the outside of the press. This is probably the messiest job in the winery but possibly the most fun as well! Tomorrow we bottle 2004's Cabernet Sauvignon.

p.s. This weekend we will be in Denver at the Denver International Wine Festival. Stop by and say hi. click here for more info on this festival.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Easy Friday Afternoon

Hey all,
Friday here at the tasting room. Tawny (above) and I are just kickin' it on this beautiful Colorado afternoon. Who wouldn't want to be just taking it easy on Pearl Street? In between your shopping stops come in for a little chocolate and wine. We make it easy with our pairing menus and our knowledgable staff (if you time it right you might just meet the winemaker!). I just wanted to say hi and share this picture (below) I took while I was in downtown Taos, NM. Don't forget to visit us for live music every Friday at 7:30 at 1468 Pearl St. in Boulder.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It aint perty!

So now you get a little behind the scenes view of what happens to those grapes after they've been picked and transported to the winery. The bins in the picture are filled with grapes and represent about half of the amount we crushed this day. Before the grapes are crushed, they are sorted and any leaves, sticks, or MOG (material other than grapes) are carefully removed by well trained experts. The grapes and stems are then fed into the crusher destemmer where the grapes are removed from the stems and then crushed and pumped into the fermenting bins. As you can imagine it is a messy job and quite sticky too. Into the bins we'll add yeast, nutrients, and as needed components to adjust acidity and pH. In about a week, after a lot of punching down, we'll have wine! Then comes pressing. More on that later...stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Soon to be wine...

Thanks to our vineyard manager Sam for this wonderful picture! These are some Syrah grapes that were just picked and placed into these bins for transportation. The bins can't be too big though because the weight of the grapes will squash the bunches on the bottom and fermentation will start due to ambient yeasts. These grapes have now been crushed and destemmed in a wonderful machine called a crusher/destemmer! As the yeasts go about their business eating the sugar in the juice and creating alcohol and CO2 as a by-product, a cap forms. This cap is made up of the grape skins floating to the top and creating a solid layer. About 4-5 times a day the cap must be broken up through a method called punching down. This releases all the color and flavors from the skins as well as gets needed oxygen to the yeasts. This process goes on for about a week for red wines and then comes the press...more on that later.