Harvest activities continue as our carefully tended grapes are fermenting away, making their transformation into delicious Waits-Mast Pinot Noir.
Regular punch downs have been keeping the Mariah pinot noir grapes happy, as we use a special tool to mix up the upper cap of solids (skins, seeds, and stems) and the juice during fermentation.
Sometime a winemaker will go barefoot to do some old school punch downs, using the gentle method that also gives weary arm muscles a break. It’s a satisfying process either way, as the pretty juice foams and bubbles to the surface.
After a happy fermentation, the Waits-Mast pinot noir from Mariah Vineyards was ready to press. Friday, October 12 was the day, and our winemaker, Shalini Sekhar got to work preparing the press and our French oak barrels for the soon-to-be wine. Before loading the fruit into the press, she extracted the free run juice from the fermentation bin, pumping it directly into barrels.
Following that, the remaining grapes were dumped into a large press, which slowly squeezes out the fermented juice into a tray below. From there, the wine went in to additional barrels, where it will remain until bottling.