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A Look at the Hands of Harvest- Calaveras Crush 2018

A Hands-On process all the way through, Winemaking is more than just giant presses, hoses, tractors, and forklifts. In every bottle of wine you drink, many hands went into its craft.

Every flavor, aroma, and mouth-feel was hand-selected and tested for that perfect recipe. Winemakers themselves are a great mix of chemist and chef; They combine flavors and taste with the science of fermentation. It's no wonder every wine is so different from year to year and winemaker to winemaker, the process is very personal and every wine has its own hand-crafted personality.

Yeast Additions

Hand-Selected Yeasts

Every varietal reacts to yeasts differently. By using different yeasts, you are able to bring out certain flavors of each varietal and even using the same varietal with different yeasts and combining them before barreling.

Pressed Grapes in a Basket Press

Pressing Grapes

After the first fermentation is done, it's time to press the juice from the grapes. This juice is halfway in between wine and grape juice. The press leaves the now flavorless skins dry and empty, saving all the flavors in the wine.

Hand-Sorting and Hand-Picking

Getting a bin of "clean grapes" to put into a de-stemmer is a wonderful complement to the pickers and sorters. Leaves add bitter tannins to the juice as well as other debris that may be found in a vineyard or get kicked up in the picking process. It's important to be skilled at recognizing bunches that are good for picking. Various defects including bird pickings, spider web rot and mold, second growths, and uneven ripening can all be part of a bin of "dirty grapes", not to mention bugs and rodents who invite themselves to the grape party: YUCK. The de-stemmer and crusher can sift out the stems and leaves out anything bigger than a grape, but it takes a deft hand to sort and inspect them for smaller impurities before they get to that process.

A Clean Crush Pad

Cleaning a wine facility is constant work. Grapes and juice and debris are messy. This takes the work of a lot of hands: Cellar Hands. The equipment and crush pad (concrete covered area for crushing grapes) are cleaned many times daily. Winemakers hands are almost always wet with either grape juice, wine, or water.

Harvest is a wet time of year.


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