Racking Small Lots

November 10, 2011



Today we racked a few of our small lots off of their fermentation lees. As you may remember, we like to splash our wine through a copper screen at this stage to remove any foul-smelling sulfide compounds. With the small lots, this is problematic because the tanks they are stored in all have their valves very close to the ground, meaning that we can’t use gravity to flow the wine down over the screen. The solution was to rack each lot into one of our larger stainless steel tanks, and then let the wine gravity flow down over the screen.

While it’s not harmful to put a small amount of wine into a large tank for a very brief period, storing it in a tank with too much air for more than a few hours can result in oxidation, and the growth of spoilage organisms. We scheduled our workload today so that we would be able to turn the wine around immediately and put it into a more appropriately sized vessel.
The two lots we racked today were the Cuvee Alis and the Monte Rosso Petite Sirah, both of which were stored in our stainless steel porta-tanks. We started with the Cuvee Alis, which wound up having an almost perfect volume to fit into one of our food grade plastic totes.
This wine will probably get put down to barrel sometime early next week.
After that, we racked the Petite Sirah into the Porta-tank that the Cuvee Alis had just been moved out of. This also served the purpose of opening up a Porta-tank for us to press the second crop into tomorrow. Scheduling work in the cellar this time of year is slightly reminiscent of solving a rubix cube, every movement has to be made in consideration of the next several moves that will follow.
To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.

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