The last few weeks has been unbelievably hectic. What was a cool, wet season turned real hot real fast at the end of September, everything ripened at once; bins and trucks and crushspace and cool heads were at a premium!
We picked Devoto on Monday 10/4. I was up there with Dean on 10/1, and we hoped the fruit would hold out over the weekend!
The fruit was actually in great shape, mainly due to some proactive farming by Stan (some mild fungicide earlier in the month after the rains, some irrigation before the end-of-the-month heat). Here’s Stan with every farmer’s trusty tool. I took two tons this year and hope to get more next year.
Here’s one of the ferment bins with a punchdown tool sitting on the cap. This year I sorted out about 25% of my tonnage (probably a little overly aggressive) and effected a light crush through the destemmer. Really like the fruit this year, lots of backbone, earthy-cola flavors. Many thanks to Bill Welch (second harvest as a Wait Cellars fruit rat!), Damon Harris, and Ananda and Micki from AGP for helping drive trucks, move fruit, sort, pick jacks, and keep it together during a chaotic day!
Here’s a shot of Dean (with some help) dumping one of the bins into the bladder press, the press fractions were tasting all the way up past 1 bar, some nice nutty flavors from the seeds, tannins getting leathery toward the hardest press but still soft, not too bitter.