Sunday, November 8, 1998
The Raiders lost. An aberration?
(A COLLABORATION OF DAVE AND BRENDAN)
Some of you may be wondering what has happened to the press. So here goes, but first we'll have to tell you a little about our trip to SF on Friday. Matt Kramer gave a very interesting presentation at the Wine Spectator Wine Experience. The topic of his speech was "Zinfandel Somewhereness" and he discussed the different styles of Zinfandel produced in California's major Zin regions. Matt Kramer's chosen examples were Ridge Geyserville (Alexander Valley), Limerick Lane (Russian River), Amador Foothills Winery (Amador County) and us from Dry Creek. (You can read a little about the symposium on the Wine Spectator's web site.) After the event, we had a stellar lunch at Hawthorne Lane.
On the way back from San Francisco, Dave stopped off at a truck/tire repair shop in Santa Rosa. As you might have guessed, the epoxy patch that he tried did not adhere enough to the rubber. I (Dave) have since found out that the glue they use on rubber causes a chemical reaction in order to seal the patches on. The guy I met at the shop was extremely helpful. After taking many minutes to explain how to repair the inner tube for the press, he handed me three patches, the all important glue and a buffing wheel - all for three dollars. Since Brendan and I had bought three patches in Healdsburg without glue for $25, I thought this was quite a value. The method that was recommended was to pyramid the patches with a large patch on the bottom and then progressively smaller patches on top for reinforcement. This was the opposite of what we were doing previously where we started with the smallest patches on the bottom. I was encouraged and anxious to try out the method the next morning.
I got up early Saturday morning and started preparing to apply the patches. I knew that Brendan was out celebrating the night before and thus I was very understanding when he didn't get to the winery until 11:00. I knew I could put on the patches myself but I figured that I would wait for Brendan because he has had the most experience with the patches and the hole is in a very difficult spot. Once he arrived, he went straight to work and had the new patches on in less than an hour. We then went to work setting up to press our Cabernet Sauvignon. By 3:00 we were ready to load the 5 tons of grapes into the press and by 5:00 we were ready to start the press and fill up the bladder. IT HELD!!!
We pressed for the next couple of hours and by 7:00 we were both exhausted so we called it a day. All we have left to press now is the last five bins that are done fermenting.
Monday, November 9, 1998
Today we prepared for pressing on Tuesday. After expecting to get only enough grapes to do 2,800 cases, we ended up getting enough fruit to make about 3,100 cases. This caught us somewhat off guard and we were forced to scramble a little bit for more barrels. Luckily Julia at Lambert Bridge had some barrels to spare so we picked up three older, neutral barrels and two new Czech Republic barrels whose flavors we both liked.
Tuesday, November 10, 1998
Today we pressed off the last of the Simpson Cab, the last of the Jones Cab, and three other bins of Cabernet/Zin blends. WE ARE DONE. There are no more fermenting grapes and all of the wine is in barrels. The one and only notable exception to this is our Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc that is still in the field waiting to rot appropriately.
Wednesday/Thursday, November 11/12, 1998
The last two days have been pretty similar We are mainly cleaning up and tying up loose ends. There are pumps to clean, hoses to sterilize, the press to clean, barrels to organize and stack, bottles to label, floors to clean and random tools to organize. Nothing very exciting, just time consuming and - unfortunately - necessary.