Cellar Rat: Day Two

I slept for nearly 11 hours last night.  It’s just after 10 a.m. now, and I feel exhausted.

Yesterday began bright and early for me: I was on the train headed towards the winery by 5:45 a.m., and measuring Brix and temperature of Pinots and Cabernets by 6:15.  There were probably around 70 T-bins to punchdown and take measurements on yesterday; we didn’t finish until 9:30.  Amazingly enough, in a few short weeks there will be least 300 bins sitting around, constantly needing to be punched and measured.  Though right now some of the wines only need a punchdown once a day, as they begin to ferment and are inoculated with yeast, they’ll need to be punched 3 or 4 times a day.  It’s a never ending process, this winemaking business.  And needless to say, your arms get in REALLY good shape from all the exercise.

Winery staff and clients sort through grapes, removing leaves, sticks, and bugs -- anything other than grapes!
Winery staff and clients sort through grapes, removing leaves, sticks, and bugs — anything other than grapes!

Even though I worked from 6 to 6, the day FLEW by.  Punchdowns came and went, then it was time to measure Brix and temperature of the chardonnays that were pressed and put into barrel last week.  We hosted a tour, had some lunch at Hard Knox (best new restaurant find of the summer, for sure), then I talked wine making with my boss, clarifying some of the things I’ve seen over the last few days so I don’t look like a total idiot once I start hosting Crush Camps on Friday.  The end of the day saw me making water and acid additions to some of the wines whose sugar levels were a bit high, and finally, Teldeschi Zinfandel grape sorting.

I returned home, showered the stickiness off, devoured some leftover French onion soup, and passed out around 8:45.  It was a fun, but tiring day.

The winery has two cameras that film what’s going on 24/7.  If you click here on the right day and time, you might even see yours truly sorting some grapes!  (Be sure to say hi to me via the live chat if you do!)

Leave a Comment


  1. 9.12.08

    Hi there. Have enjoyed reading your blog. Just an FYI that the link you have to Teldeschi Zinfandel is incorrect. You sourced the grapes from Teldeschi Vineyards. Our link is our web site – http://www.delcarlowinery.com. Common mistake as two sides of the same family grow grapes and our ranches are next to each other.

    Happy Harvest!

  2. 9.12.08
    vmacandcheese said:

    Thanks, Lori! Clusters looked beautiful, by the way…and tasted delicious, too!