Dairy of a cellar rat: Wine class

This harvest continues to surprise me. I’m not really sure when it’s going to start in earnest. I mean we’re working 10, 12 hour days six days a week, but the winery doesn’t have that true, chaotic feeling of crush yet. The cool weather has just slowed everything down to an amazing degree. Today I took my dog CoCo on a run and I could not believe how much Sauvignon Blanc is still hanging and we’re almost in October. Sauv B is usually the done by the start of September.

Not really a bad thing I guess as this fall I’m taking a class at the Napa community college in the fundamentals of oenology. The class is interesting but the best part is that as we discuss the art of winemaking I spend most of my days doing the exact same operations that are the focus of the class.

For example, my most recent class dealt with yeasts, fermentation, inoculating grape juice and the fermentation/yeast cycle. Prior to the lecture, I spent the day at the winery preparing yeast, inoculating must and monitoring fermentations.

It’s a wonderful combination of work and life as well as a little ironic when you’re taking a vocabulary quiz on such terms as yeast, starter solution and must (the unfermented mixture of grapes, grape skins, seeds, juice and other material) and your pants are covered in yeast, yeast starter and must.

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