In a post earlier this year titled “Winter Winemaking”, I discussed a little bit of the thought process and ensuing vinification activity of a young wine post-harvest.  Now that the majority of our 2008 wines have been blended and are marrying in barrel, it's (chronological) time to turn our attention to the previous vintage – 2007.   As with our Cabernet and Merlot based wines, the wines will age in barrel from 18 to 22 months before bottling.  We are scheduled to bottle our 2007 Merlot blend and Estate Cabernet in early May.  So, the most obvious and important activity pre-bottling is to remove the wine from barrel and settle it in a stainless steel tank to facilitate the bottling process.  This activity is called racking.