Note: During the harvest and crush season, our winemaker Grant also serves as Associate Winemaker at The Winery SF, a winery on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco bay. In this post, Grant gives us a view from inside the winery.
Today in the Cellar:
Reached the island at 8:10 to be greeted by a coworker with some coffee that he personally roasted the night before. Oh San Francisco, how I love you. The perfectly fresh coffee makes this early morning that much more bearable. Words cannot describe the gratitude.
The bay was calm, still, and immersed in fog. Visibility of thirty feet. It’s cold and wet but still glad it’s not February. As I opened the door, I was greeted by the vibrant aroma of bright, fermenting fruit. Always a pleasure this time of year. The early morning punchdowns of the fermentations are still cookin’. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Grenache, Syrah.
I checked numbers (brix, temperatures), all looked good, no stuck fermentations. A new shipment of grapes were delivered around 9:45 AM, and the winery staff springs to action. Four tons of Pinot Noir from Lake County. To give the reader an idea, these 4 tons of Pinot fruit should be enough to make about 8 barrels of finished wine, or about 2,400 bottles. Fruit looked superb. Some slight raisining which isn’t surprising for the late harvest. Not a trace of rot or mold, and crush went clean and fast. Next grapes up, we loaded the press with three tons of petite sirah. Dark and inky. The peppery aroma was intoxicating.
Sometimes I feel guilty about how much I enjoy my job. And then I have to clean the grape press. I suppose even the greatest jobs have their chores. All in all, not a bad trade-off.
As I close up the winery for the day, I can’t wait for tomorrow.