To Sort or Not to Sort

Had an opportunity to talk with many winemakers while in California. They were different and had different ideas and ways of doing things. Kathy and I saw a great double sorting table at Del Dotto Estate. One person was on the first sorting table removing the larger items. The grapes then went to the destemmer. They came out of the destemmer in excellent condition. Seven people were on the second sorting table, three on each side and one on the end. They were removing the jacks and MOG (materials other than grapes). The grapes going into the fermentation bins were in great shape with no MOG.

Compare that winery to another winery where we observed punch down. They had a pneumatic hand punch down for large tanks. The small fermentation bins had hand held punch downs. One bin was used for an old family recipe. The punch down stick was nearly a century old. It was a branch from a tree. We observed the smaller fermentation tanks. There were several stems and jacks floating on the cap.

Most agree that wine is made in the vineyard. However the art and science of the winemaker can make the same grapes from the same vineyard into different wines. We are looking forward to working on a sorting table at Vint Hill this weekend.

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