Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Having just barely broken into August and only just now feeling like it is summertime, it is difficult to really start thinking about harvest (unless you're making bubbly), especially in this later than normal year. In any case, harvest preparations look fairly similar wherever you may be - lots of cleaning, purchasing supplies, stocking the beer fridge, etc. - but for us here at Chateau Montelena "preparing for harvest" this year means something else entirely.
Not long after I was promoted to winemaker in 2008 I was tasked with the (then theoretical) task of redesigning the fermentation cellar inside our historic Chateau (see photo above left). Over the intervening time that design was refined, tweaked, and eventually finalized. This past February construction began on a complete cellar retrofit and seismic upgrade. So while we are busy ordering in yeast and sanitation chemicals for harvest just like everyone else, we are also neck deep in construction. With no tanks in the cellar currently, it is hard to start thinking about fruit... Thankfully everything is on schedule with no major surprises (we hope). So stay tuned for more updates on the progress of our construction and on our first harvest in the new cellar (see current status photo below)! There are also more details and images on our blog if you're interested.