Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

Some '14 Harvest Pics

Posted by outthere, Nov 11, 2014.

Found these on my phone today. It was a day in the life working harvest at Envy for Envy, Carter, Quivet, Myriad, Apsara, Tofanelli, Becklyn, McGah, Scarlett etal.

This particular day was Cabernet Sauvignon from Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard. 9 Tons.


Gorgeous fruit, not a single raisined berry.


From bin to sorter.


Then it travels up the conveyor and drops into the destemmer. From there the berries drop into a hopper that feeds the pump. The pump forces the fruit through a 4" hose to the fermentation tank.


Where it gets a dose of Dry Ice. The CO2 displaces the oxygen as it thaws and leaves a protective blanket over the fruit.


Don't cry over spilled berries, even at $18K/ton.


Lunch break. I smoked some pork shoulders for the crew and we munched on pulled pork sandwiches.


Then it was back to the fruit. It just kept coming and coming.  Another 5-1/2 tons from another vineyard!


Not everything goes into tanks. Small lots go into T-Bins to ferment. It was crowded on this day. The warm room was packed.


I'll dig out some more pics later.


Reply by JonDerry, Nov 11, 2014.

Killer surf!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 11, 2014.

Oh, boy, that's some gorgeous fruit.  Looks like a third epic vintage in a row.  Any chance of tasting that from barrel? 

Sadly, there was a time, before all these vineyards were known to the hedge fund managers by name, when you could buy a wine with ToKalon fruit on a mere public sector lawyer's salary.  Now I have to make nice--oh, wait, you're my friend, I don't have to pretend to like you, I actually like you.  Still, so many folks will have to grossly overpay to have this experience.  I guess that's also what I would have to do if I wanted to taste DRC or Latour. 

Anyway, awesome to see this from the inside. Beckstoffer really does take care of those vineyards, and Mike Smith really does magic with them as well.  I see another perfect score coming his way!

Reply by dvogler, Nov 11, 2014.

Nice OT, thanks for posting!


Reply by dmcker, Nov 12, 2014.

That Beckstoffer fruit is good looking stuff, without a doubt.

Keep 'em coming...

Reply by Really Big Al, Nov 12, 2014.

The dose of dry ice in the fermentation tank was new to me.  I don't recall wine makers mentioning this step in the processing at the vineyards we have toured.  So I did a little digging to find more on this topic, and here is what I found:

Carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice is often used in the wine making process to cool down bunches of grapes quickly after picking to help prevent spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts. The main advantage of using dry ice over regular water ice is that it cools the grapes without adding any additional water that may decrease the sugar concentration in the grape must, and therefore also decrease the alcohol concentration in the finished wine.

Dry ice is also used during the cold soak phase of the wine making process to keep grapes cool. The carbon dioxide gas that results from the sublimation of the dry ice tends to settle to the bottom of tanks because it is heavier than regular air. The settled carbon dioxide gas creates an hypoxic environment which helps to prevent bacteria from growing on the grapes until it is time to start the fermentation with the desired strain of yeast.

Reply by EMark, Nov 12, 2014.

Excellent.  Thank you for the great pics and the commentary, OT.  I look forward to the next installment.

I received an e-mail from Robin Akhurst this morning. Apparently, the order I placed in September was labeled for winery pickup.  I think it's been squared away to ship to me.

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 16, 2014.


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