Pressing out Cab

October 25, 2011



As we mentioned yesterday, many of our fermentations are starting to draw to a close. This means that we’re starting to transition our operation over from receiving fruit to draining and pressing the finished tanks.

Yesterday we drained and pressed the eight tons of China Bowl Cab that we picked back on the 17’th. Our press is pretty small, so it took two pressloads to get it done.

After we had all of the skins out of the tank, we rinsed it out and then transferred the freshly pressed wine back into it. Since it was the same tank we had just come out of, only now the skins and seeds had been removed, this left a lot of empty space in the tank. One of the goals during this period is to keep all of the tanks as close to full as possible to reduce the amount of air the wine is exposed to during storage, too much air in the tank can result in spoilage organisms taking hold and forming a film on the surface of the wine. To keep this tank of wine topped up, we are adding to it today by pressing out the four and a half tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from China Bowl and Montana Vista that we harvested on the 18’th.

Now that we’re pressing out a lot of tanks, we’re starting to produce a lot of press wine (the slightly more extracted wine that’s removed under high pressure that doesn’t make it into our final blend). We were just keeping this wine in kegs, but soon there will be far too much, so we’ve switched over to this food-grade plastic tote instead. We protect it from air exposure in this case by putting a scoop of dry ice into it every day.

This is a fairly dynamic time of year in the winery, one definitely has to think a week or so in advance to make sure that there will be space to keep certain lots separate (the Zinfandel, for instance) but still in relatively full vessels. The problem has been compounded this year because the actual picking season was relatively short; most of the fruit came in at around the same time, so most of it will need to be pressed at around the same time, racked at around the same time, etc. In fact, we are about to press out many of our small lots, like the Petite Sirah and Cuvee Alis, so things are going to get even tighter.

If it was easy, they wouldn’t need winemakers!

To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.


One Response to “Pressing out Cab”

  1. Ricardo said

    Hey Micah, you might want to mention in your next blog why we use the pure copper screen besides wanting to get rid of sulfides….prevention ! todays modern wineries have few if any brass fittings used in older days as we are almost now all using SS for tanks,fittings and other winery parts…thus a greatr chance of perhaps picking up a few “stinky hitchikers” along the way….the old timers didn’t usually experience the problems because of the many brass valves,fittings etc. Just a thought :>) RLA

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