Monday, September 30, 2013

Punching down the cap

Once our red wine grapes are run through crusher/stemmer, the resulting "Must" is pumped into a fermenting vessel. We have several stainless steel tank fermenters for this purpose, but some of the smaller lots are fermented in bins like those in the pictures below. As the must ferments, the berries will rise to the surface and form the "cap". To extract skin color from the berries, the cap must be churned back into the liquid.  This is called punching down the cap and it is done at least twice a day while the wine is actively fermenting. These pictures were taken on Sunday afternoon. Pablo drove from & to Napa to do this 20 minute job. Had I known it needed to be done, I could have saved him the trip.

Our intern "Pablo" punching down the cap
The Punch down tool
Mixing up the must


Steve said...

Sounds like one of the "little" things that make the world turn around. Tedious, but needed.

Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

When is the next wine club release?

Ranndy Piña said...

I had to ask Katherine: "Information regarding the wine club shipment has gone out. The orders are being processed Friday, October 18 with shipping starting the week of October 21."