Here we are punching down some merlot that is fermenting. The grapes stay in these tubs for about two weeks and are punched down every twelve hours to make sure the skins stay wet and can color and flavor the wine properly.
They were unloading some cabernet sauvignon and running it through the de-stemming machine while we were there. I love the de-stemming machine. Grapes go up on a conveyor belt and stems come spitting out the end and tasty grapes drop out of the middle. I was surprised at how sweet and good the grapes actually tasted. I somehow figured wine grapes wouldn't be good for eating but the cabernet sauvignon were these sweet little grapes.
We also got to try some chardonnay juice. It was being pressed in a different machine because you don't need to run them through the de-stemmer. Even though chardonnay is my least favorite wine the actual juice was good.
Of course what would crush be without stompin' on some grapes. So stomp we did. This was something that everyone should put on their life list because it was just too much fun. The bins got very slippery towards the end of our stomping time and the grapes were cold but it was great fun. Our team didn't win but we gave it the good old college try.
The people who run the Adopt-A-Vine program and the winery are fabulous and they had a great snack spread and let us have glasses of a beautiful '07 red blend right out of the tank that they will be bottling soon.
Oh, and don't worry. The grapes that touch the feet were grapes they brought in that weren't good enough for wine and no wine will actually be made from them.