Racking-03/18/2015 posted by Matthew Moye
It's been awhile since I last posted so I thought it was important to give everyone an update on what is happening at the winery. The past month and a half Mario and I have been racking the 2014 vintage. Racking? Yes, racking is when you pump the wine out of the barrel, clean the barrel, and then put the wine back down in barrel. We do this a few times for every vintage while the wine ages for 2 years here at the winery. The reasoning is that over time sediment builds up in the belly of the barrel and needs to be removed so that bacteria and microbes won't have a place to live. Young wines put off more sediment and so the first racking takes quite a bit of time to get all the "gunk" out. Here at the winery we have a barrel washing system that involves a high pressure unit that rotates inside the barrel using 180 degree water. Once the barrel is cleaned it is dried upside down over night and then filled the next day. We are just finishing up with the 2014 vintage. Tasting them as we go through has given us much encouragement regarding the potential of the 2014 vintage. Stay tuned! So what's next? Next week we will begin to get ready for our first bottling in April. In April we bottle the Arroyo Chardonnay & Melange as well as the High Point Sauvignon Blanc. We will be adding bentonite to the Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc to stabilize the proteins. It does not change the flavor of the wine but by stabilizing the proteins, we don't run the risk of any hazing that might occur while the wine is in bottle. It takes a few weeks for the proteins to settle out. Once complete we will sterile filter all the wines in preparation for bottling.
We have many other exciting things happening at the winery. The office has been busy catching up on the Futures and Standing Orders. If you haven't yet confirmed your standing order and want to be sure you get those wines that you like, please do so soon. For those that don't have standing orders, we are now taking Futures orders for the 2015 release which will be this Fall. These wines will be primariliy from the 2013 vintage (except for the 14 Chardonnay and the 12 Reserve Cab & Reserve Petite Sirah). We also have a few spots left for our winemaker dinner's on May 1st & May 2nd. If you stay in Calistoga we provide the transportation. Great deal! Both nights are a lot of fun and sandwiched in between is our Open House during the day on Saturday May 2nd. We will be releasing the 2012 Bodega as well as many of our library wines served with an amazing paella lunch on that Saturday. Hopefully we will see many of you at these events. If not, hopefully you can make it out this summer to taste some of these amazing wines while they are still in barrel! Cheers!!!!!- Matt