Behind The Scenes Wine Tour & Weekly Menu

by DanicasDaily on January 27, 2013

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.

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The white grapes get lifted off the trucks and poured into this huge grape crusher.

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Which feeds into this machine where the wine making process begins.

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The “Grape” Control center Open-mouthed smile

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Then, there are the wine making tools of the trade. 

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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.

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Second ~ the open top barrels where all they can open up the tops and make adjustments to the wine as needed.

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The last type is the closed barrels where they use a pump to move the juice around as it goes from juice to wine.

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One of the pumps they use to “stir” the wine.

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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. 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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It took me awhile to get the “un-red” part, but, after looking at our Uncensored Red Label it totally made sense.

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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.

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In the back of our offices, we have a huge Cork Tree next to the picnic area.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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My Wine Tasting with my co-workers went a little like this…..

ONE….

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When you cannot decide which wine to drink first ~ mix them like I do everything else lol….

TWO….

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THREE…..Open-mouthed smile  Yup, I am totally a dork and I am ok with that….

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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.

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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!

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Have I ever mentioned I love my job?!  Just sayin’ ~ Smile

HERE IS WHAT IS ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

I sort of went all out today preparing for success this week.  For breakfasts I made Taco Egg Muffins, lunches ~ Butternut Squash Lasagna and for snacks I made a batch of Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.

I hope to catch up with all your emails and comments this week ~ thanks for being patient.

Night all!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail H. January 28, 2013 at 4:36 am

Wine AND Weekly Menu all in on post…what a treat to wake up to…pure heaven!! Loved this one!! And of course I’m on the look out for more Geyser Peaks to try :)

2 Jackie January 28, 2013 at 5:17 am

Hi! Can you link to the red wine/chocolate if you can buy it online – can’t seem to find in anywhere. Thanks!

3 Fergie January 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

Wondering how you eat the chocolate off the bottle or if it is just for decoration.
Discovered chobani coffee yogurt in the bites this week. Heaven! Coffee yogurt with chocolate chunks! Danica, wondering if you have tried it yet!

4 Lucia January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

Do they make the port right in that facility? I know here in NY, they have to have a distillery make it for them, ( if they do not have one)

5 Roz@weightingfor50 January 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

You are so lucky to have such a great job!!! I live vicariously through you. Enjoy your day Danica.

6 Christina Mullins January 29, 2013 at 3:43 am

Hi,
I absolutely love your blogs and recipes! I read about the 1 points+ wine called The Light Grape and also about this new Uncensored 1points+ wine. When do these come out and where will we be able to buy them? Needless to say, our Weight Watcher’s attendees are dying to know!;) Thank you!

Christina

7 Danica January 29, 2013 at 11:19 am
8 suzanne January 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

What a wonderful place to work! I loved seeing how much technology goes into make wine.

9 Christina January 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Is the Uncensored red wine that is available online a 1 points+ wine? When does the white blend come out? Thank you!!:)

10 DanicasDaily February 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

Hi Fergie,

The chocolate breaks off the bottle when you open the seal. So, you put it in a bowl, pour a glass and alternate taking bites of chocolate and drinking wine. It is so delicious!

I will have to look for those Choyo’s.

Thanks,

Danica

11 DanicasDaily February 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

Hi Lucia,

Yes, we make all the wines we sell in our facility. However, some of our grapes, we buy from other growers.

Danica

12 DanicasDaily February 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

Hi Christina,

The Uncensored Wine is not 1 points+, but, I like the way you think. It is only the Light Grape Wine Series that is 1 points+. I am working on what stores will be carrying it. It will be launching next month in stores all over the US and I hope to be able to share a link online as well. I know Safeway is one of our big customers. I will keep you posted as soon as I know.

Thanks,

Danica

13 DanicasDaily February 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hi Christina,

The Uncensored is not a 1 points+ wine. I am working on what stores will be carrying the Light Grape Wines. It will be launching next month in stores all over the US and I hope to be able to share a link online as well. I know Safeway is one of our big customers. I will keep you posted as soon as I know.

Thanks,

Danica

14 Christina February 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

oh okay…thank you! I will be on the lookout at Safeway!

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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.



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