Phantom Rivers Winemaker in Harvest Action  

Harvest 2015 is underway!  To fully appreciate the art of winemaking, VAULT29 is taking you behind the scenes during the busiest - and most exciting - time of year in wine country. Here's a simplistic behind-the-scenes-look at the steps Phantom Rivers (Paso Robles AVA) winemaker, John Thunen, takes during harvest once the grapes are pulled from the vines.

Step 1: Sorting

Best wines are produced by best grapes. But what about all the other stuff  that comes from harvesting (ie leaves, twigs, unripe fruit, and even bugs)? Once the grapes are harvested off the vines, they are transported to the sorter where only the quality fruit will be brought into the winery. 

Phanotm Rivers-Sorting-Harvest15 | VAULT29

Step 2: Destemming, Crushing, Fermenting 

Once the grapes have been sorted they are destemmed and crushed. and dropped into 1,000 lb fermentation bins. Winemaker, John Thunen, transports the bins where they will ferment for 7-10 days.   

Phantom Rivers Winemaker, John Thunen- Paso Robles | VAULT29

Step 3: Pressing 

After 7-10 days of fermenting, the fermentation bins are poured into the press. The juice collects in a big stainless steel tank. 

Step 4: Pumping, (More) Fermenting, and Aging 

Finally, the juice from the stainless steel tanks are pumped into barrels for the completion of fermentation and aging. It is racked after about 8-12 weeks and again a few months later. Then, it goes to "sleep" for 18 months.

Phantom RIvers Winemaker Pumping | Harvest15 | VAULT29

For more information about Phantom Rivers click here and/or download the VAULT29 app and search "Phantom Rivers."