I have never started the Amador harvest this early. We started sparkling wine production in Napa on August 11, which is also a first. I scheduled to bottle 5,800 cases of wine at the new winery in Amador County the last week of August thinking I would have plenty of time to switch the winery over from bottling mode to harvest mode. The day we moved the last truck load of new bottled wine out we set up the crusher stemmer and press for harvest.
After getting my buddy the electrician in to help me get all the equipment running I felt we were ready. The next day, today September 2nd, I scheduled in 24 tons of our first grapes for the season.
The new vintage started rolling in at 7 AM. We received 22 tons of the Bowman Vineyard (our Mt. Selection Zinfandel) and 2 tons of the Norton Vineyard (my grandfather’s former Vineyard that produces our Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel).
Well everything worked. Not as fast as I expected, but the grapes all got crushed. The Bowman went into a 5,000 gallon stainless steel fermenter. The Norton into open top fermenters. At 9:30 PM I finally pitched (the term for adding yeast to the crushed grapes) both fermentations and the 2015 vintage began.