In the spring and summer months the winemaking staff often envies the vineyard staff, working in the beautiful sunshiny days in the Napa Valley, but come January when it’s cold and rainy outside the cellar staff is pretty happy staying dry and warm; well relatively warm at 61 degrees F in our barrel room.
All the hype of harvest is just a blurry recollection and the less glamorous reality of the day to day work in the cellar continues. January is the time at the winery that we start the first rackings of all those marvelous wines we barreled down at the end of harvest and get a more tangible feel for the quality of the vintage. There is a kind of excitement amongst the staff as the new wines are pumped into tanks and we pull samples for analysis and evaluation; the wines are vibrant in their youth and full of promise, and at this point we get to decide which program they’re destined, the Elivette or the Estate Cabernet, and make adjustments to their oak regime if needed. Then it’s back to the barrels and continue ageing for another few months while we start the blending trials to decided how best to marry all our lots to produce the best possible wines. So we stay busy in the cellar at this time of year, covered in a muted excitement about the new vintage with anticipation of their next step in the two year trek to the bottle.
If you’re in the area and have a chance, stop by and see how things are going in the cellar, but watch out for pumps and hoses and lots of new oak barrels being rolled around.
Jac Cole - winemaker
Spring Mountain Vineyard