Barrel Maintenance and Media Praise

April 12, 2012




The weather here in Sonoma Valley has been slightly unpredictable for the last couple of days. We’ve been expecting rain, and we’ve been getting it, but mainly in fits and starts amidst a few sunny hours,  instead of a steady downpour. It’s still a little too muddy to get out into the vineyards to mow, so instead we’ve brought things back inside and started working on our monthly barrel maintenance.

The metal box on the cart in the lower right-hand corner of the picture is our ozone generator. It produces water that is saturated with ozone, which is a highly reactive molecule made of three oxygen atoms. Ozone is lethal to every known microbe, and it breaks back down into harmless oxygen molecules in a matter of hours. These qualities make it an ideal substance to use when cleaning the inside of empty barrels, which have a large surface area prone to harboring undesirable microorganisms.

Empty barrels are first rinsed with hot water, followed by ozonated water. Afterwards, we add a little sulfur dioxide gas by burning a sulfur wick inside the barrel. The moisture from the rinsing also keeps the wood from completely drying out, which means these barrels will be less likely to leak when we do eventually fill them again. It’s just another aspect of the cyclical nature of work in a winery!

In other news, we received a very nice review for our 2009 Cuvee Alis from Fredric Koeppel of the Bigger Than Your Head food and wine blog. As always, it is very nice to hear appreciation for our wines!

We make precious little of this amazing wine, be sure to check it out before it's gone!

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


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