Tin Barn Vineyards | Amy Tsaykel

Posts Tagged ‘sonoma’

Aging: Of Bears & Barrels

In Uncategorized on 12/10/2009 at 6:37 pm

“Hibernation is a covert operation for more overt action.” ~Ralph Ellison

Wine in hibernation...

Seasonally speaking, late fall is the ideal time to lay things away to rest–from luscious jams and jellies to delicate plants and shiny bicycles. Wild animals know this, fattening themselves well before toddling away for hibernation.

It makes sense, then, that this is also the time when winemakers rack their must, or fermenting juice, into cooperage for a long winter’s nap. Much like tucking in a newborn, it’s a careful process.

It begins when the winemaker has deemed the initial fermentation complete, and drains the tank of juice. This is not merely a matter of opening a valve: “Digout” is a laborious effort to completely empty the tank of all skins and organic matter. It not only requires a pick and shovel, but plenty of elbow grease!

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