While the Wine Ages

Most wineries in the Northern Hemisphere have wine aging in tanks and barrels. Many home winemakers have wine aging in carboys and occasionally tanks or barrels. So what is there to do for winemakers and cellar masters during these cold winter days? Hibernation come to mind, however there are always winery tasks to attend. Generally this is a good time of year for cleaning and moving equipment. Winemaker D.J. Leffin moved several stainless steel tanks from the side of one wall to the side of the opposite wall. It was observed that water collected under these tanks every time the floor was washed. The floor of the opposite wall is a bit higher so the water will drain from that area. Winemaker Dave Zuchero also moved equipment around.

We helped Dave at Tin Lizzie Wineworks clean equipment, wash the floor and move equipment. Although extremely cold outdoors, the temperature in the winery was warm enough to encourage one to keep busy. The only challenge was washing equipment outdoors, a bit too cold for that.

Barrels do need some attention. Testing to see if malolatcic fermentation completed is one task. Topping off barrels is another task. Checking acid levels and determining how much if any acid to add is another activity. Racking to clean barrels and washing out barrels is an activity that helps pass the winter days.

Do winemakers ever get a vacation? Some do, often during the winter when they can spare a week or two. It helps if the winery has more than one winemaker or cellar master who can keep an eye on things. While on holiday, do they visit other wineries? Many do and enjoy the opportunity to exchange ideas. Every winery takes on it own personality. It is like meeting people, everyone is unique.

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