Happy Sunday all! My Vine to Table Winery Tour took a little longer than I thought to be continued. Sorry about that ~ this weekend ended up being packed with fun and I didn’t have the chance to get back to my computer until today. One day, I will learn how to sit still and just relax on the weekends….
We started off our tour at the top of the Geyser Peak Hill near the crushing facility where our Tour Guide explained the layout of the land, where all the grapes are grown and the stories behind the vines that created some of our labels. One pretty cool example relates to our Walking Tree Vineyard where our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown.
The vineyard is planted on a steep hill side in the Alexander Valley. After the vineyard was originally planted, there was a tree that somehow detached itself from it’s roots, yet remained upright. Over the course of several months, the tree ended up sliding down the steep hill “walking” from the vineyard’s summit down the steep grade, while remaining completely upright.
Pretty cool, story, huh? There are so many great stories like that and it honestly made me fall in love with the Geyser Peak Brand just a bit more because of it.
When the trucks arrived at the Geyser Peak Winery, they are directed to the right or left side of the crushing pad based on whether they have red or white grapes.
The white grapes get lifted off the trucks and poured into this huge grape crusher.
Which feeds into this machine where the wine making process begins.
The “Grape” Control center
Then, there are the wine making tools of the trade.
There are three types of containers in the winery used to make the wine juice.
The oldest type of barrel at the facility is the rotating steel barrels that spin in a circular motion ~ think like a concrete truck. This helps to move the juice and skins around as the fruit ferments.
Second ~ the open top barrels where all they can open up the tops and make adjustments to the wine as needed.
The last type is the closed barrels where they use a pump to move the juice around as it goes from juice to wine.
One of the pumps they use to “stir” the wine.
When we were at the winery, they were in the process of going through the cold fermentation. The steel barrels actually freeze on the outside creating the white frost you see on the barrels.
Each barrel has this incredibly cool device on it that controls the temperature during the entire fermentation process. This little device will send emails and texts to the wine maker to let them know if the temperature isn’t right and provide them feedback along the way.
I love technology ~ seriously ~ this is a pretty cool thing!
After we have made our wine or crushed the grapes for other wineries, it gets moved into these huge storage containers and eventually to the wooden wine barrels you all know so well.
Right before the wine goes to bottling, it goes through this machine that siphons out any remaining sentiments making it smooth, clear and 99% free of residue.
The wine barrels are directly hooked up to our bottling machine and bottled/labeled/capped and boxed the same as the 1 points+ Light Wine I showed you a few weeks back.
I am so excited about this new Uncensored White Blend we are making. I am already IN LOVE with the red so I know the white will be just as delicious.
After being boxed and placed on the pallet, the boxes are shrink wrapped and ready to ship.
I think the “un-red” label is pretty fun for the White Uncensored…..
It took me awhile to get the “un-red” part, but, after looking at our Uncensored Red Label it totally made sense.
Fun fact that I learned ~ we actually Custom Crush Grapes for several other local wineries and use half our facility to store their wine juice.
This is the “control center” for what is in every single container we have in the warehouse.
In the back of our offices, we have a huge Cork Tree next to the picnic area.
Did you all know that it takes 8 years for a cork tree skin to grow the cork park again after it is removed? Kinda crazy, huh? On the left is the cork tree bark and on the right is the cork tree skin after the bark is removed.
Of course, the tour would not be complete without a little wine tasting ~ starting with whites, moving to reds and finishing with the delicious, sweet dessert wines and chocolate!
From our tasting room host, I learned a new trick to aerate wine that you can totally impress your guests with!
Swirl and smell the wine, then, f you have 1 oz or less wine in your glass, you can lay your glass on it’s side and roll it. When you smell it again, it intensifies how the fruit smells in the glass.
My Wine Tasting with my co-workers went a little like this…..
When you cannot decide which wine to drink first ~ mix them like I do everything else lol….
THREE….. Yup, I am totally a dork and I am ok with that….
Quite possibly the coolest thing we are selling in the winery right now ~ Shiraz Port (sweet red dessert wine) that is wrapped in 72% Dark Chocolate.
You literally open up the bottle, by breaking the chocolate off the bottle. Then, pour, sip, bite into the chocolate, bite into the chocolate again and sip ~ Deliciousness!!!
Red Wine + Dark Chocolate = LOVE!
Have I ever mentioned I love my job?! Just sayin’ ~
HERE IS WHAT IS ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
- Grilled Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, Swiss Chard
- Taco Cups, Salad
- BBQ Buffalo Chicken Salads
- Bacon Baked Vegetable Tortellini
- BLTA’s or Grilled Thai Turkey Salads
- Shrimp Scampi, salad
I hope to catch up with all your emails and comments this week ~ thanks for being patient.