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.
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.
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.