First thing to do this morning is to see what we crushed yesterday. Both fermentations had started and the winery was filling up with the wonderful odor of fermenting grapes. This is my 42nd year making wine and I love that first day of walking into the tank room and smelling the yeast.
You have to bear in mind this is my first time making wine at this winery. The fermentation room is well designed to fit a lot of production capacity in a tight space. So when I first opened the door, a rush of carbon dioxide produced by the yeast hit me square in the face. Right then and there I decided that the big rollup door was going to stay open throughout the rest of harvest or it could be dangerous.
After pumping over the big 5,000 gallon tank for an hour and punching down the caps on the open top fermenters, samples were pulled from each to evaluate the beginning of the 2015 vintage. Oh, that first taste of the fermenting juice! Red frothy sweet juice, assessing the flavor intensity, the bouquet, the color. What is the 42nd vintage going to give me to work with? Will it be one of those great vintages? Most winemakers will tell you the current vintage is the best wine they have ever made. They are always so excited with a new vintage, hoping for the best. We’ll see how this one turns out. I like the flavors and bouquet so far. But after all, it is only the second day of harvest.