Journey: Thoughts and Reflections along the path. 

Jane Mika-Haynie
October 12, 2012 | Jane Mika-Haynie

2012 Crush

Yesterday, we got our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Carneros- we received the fruit all at once and processed 4 tons with steady rain running down our backs for a good part of the afternoon. Today, the fruit will come in slower, and we will be shuffling fermenters- the first 3 Merlot fermentations from 2 weeks ago are ready to go into barrels, the barrels are prepped and ready, and the ibuprofen is flowing freely.

We hope to have 20-25 tons at the end of this year's crush. It becomes a logistical puzzle transferring grapes to pick bins, to fermenters, then to barrels. When we receive grapes all at once, like yesterday, the urgency to process is palpable. Once the grapes are picked, you want to get them crushed and away from oxygen as quickly as possible. 

So, yesterday was a 12 hour day for me, starting at 7am. Today, the pick crew has left for the vineyard at 7, and the crush pad crew will be showing up at 8. Today the fruit will come one pick bin at a time, and we can complete other tasks in between, which for me is record keeping of the crush, how many tons of fruit to how many gallons of juice, how much yeast and yeast food, etc. 

It is a yearly cycle, and it feels good to be part of this wondrous (and physically demanding) winemaking experience.

Time Posted: Oct 12, 2012 at 7:36 AM
Jane Mika-Haynie
January 19, 2012 | Jane Mika-Haynie

Wintertime tasks at the winery.

This is sort of like the image of the duck that looks calm and smooth on the surface but is paddling like crazy underneath. The vines are dormant and ready for pre-pruning and pruning, the wine is either sitting in barrels waiting until bottling time, or in bottles ready for sale, and there is the illusion of a post-holiday lull in the work of the winery. But underneath is the work of planning out the next year, and where we stand in the roughly 3 years cycle of grapes to bottle. Barrels are being tested and tasted, oak added, and plans for bottles labels and corks are being finalized for Spring bottling. Appointments are being made with restaurants and wine bars, and flyers are strting to 'fly' for wine walks, passports and other events that count on the local wineries for support. In the vineyards, soil is being tested and amended, cover crops planted, and a spraying schedule is being developed.

This is our first January in business, and we spent many hours organizing our files and inventory for filing Federal and California State required forms, and of course, paying fees. As we organized our inventory (on paper) to submit the various forms, it gave us the opportunity to look ahead to the upcoming year and start planning Lightheart Cellars' year ahead.

Time Posted: Jan 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM