Harvest is now hitting full stride with wine fest behind us *whew!*, grapes upon us and winemaking ahead of us! Whoever decided that having 15,625 wine tourists cruising around your vineyards in early October was a good idea, obviously hasn’t tried to harvest grapes while directing traffic at the same time. So, today 12 tons of Merlot were picked, double sorted, destemmed and crushed. For those techno-types out there, we use two sorting tables (1 conveyer, 1 vibrating), cold soak whole berries for 4 to 5 days, and inoculate with yeast thereby initiating carbonic maceration (a.k.a. fermentation within the berry).
All in all, that means it takes many hands to make this happen. Today’s crew was 12 strong, with always a few characters in the group including Robin, our wonderfully overqualified lab gal who had a bit of a h*ly sh*t moment when asked to punch down a 3000L vat of Syrah while perched 15 feet up on a 2×10 plank, Jennifer Cockrall-King, one of our local Naramatian Top 40 foodies who was in it ‘for the experience’, and of course, Mike, a Penticton resident who wanted to pick grapes between gigs as an Elvis impersonator. Keeps it interesting! Gotta go… 20 tons of Merlot, Malbec and Chard coming in tomorrow.
Cynthia Enns | Laughing Stock Vineyards
Photos by: Chris Mason Stearns