Cellar Update

28 Feb
2010

Work has been dandy the last week. I am finally out of the barrel hall where I spent a week sulphuring then topping all the wine. It was a long process not facilitated by the fact I had to wait occasionally for the laboratory to keep up with my red wine samples. Nevertheless, it was all done to a T in the end and I am sure the winemakers are pretty happy with my efforts as it’s usually ‘one of those jobs’ and I did it with a big smile on my face and a radio blaring Adelaide FM’s hits whilst down there on my own.

Since I haven’t been in the barrel room anymore I have instead been in the cellar where the rest of the gang are and where the action is really happening. I was a little rusty I will admit on my first full day in the cellar. I work with young Jacky boy and the poor guy has to put up with some of my blonde comments to which he just shakes his head to. He thinks I am funny though…possibly in a sad way, but we get a long well and he is pretty easy going to we’re making for a good team so far. Stuart from uni has been up in the top cellar processing the fruit that comes in. I do not have to deal with the crusher or presses as they have two people assigned to that job. Though the other day I came up there to check out the Riesling fruit and Stuart let me dump the rest of the bins in the big hopper so that was fun.
In the cellar my work days usually involve lots of different tasks, from racking white juices of Riesling, Semillon, Gewurtztraminer or Chardonnay from one tank to another to get the clear juice, then heating them up with another pump, then inoculating them…or ‘knocking them up’ as we say. Normally it is the responsibility of the assistant winemaker Josh to do all the yeasting but I had a chat with him and let him know I feel comfortable doing it and know what I’m doing so he has handed over all the yeasty beasty duties to me which leaves him free to go to the vineyards with head winemaker Paul to sample fruit. It’s more important for him to see that side of things knowing that I’ve got control on my side here, and I like smelling like a bakery so we both win 🙂
We don’t stop for much of a lunch usually. I will grab my food and munch on the go or grab a tea and leave it in the cellar to go cold when I forget about it. You want to get the job done so no fluffing around. In the afternoon is usually when the fruit that they have pressed is ready to be taken ‘off the floor’ (out of the old waxed underground tanks where they’ve gotten a volume) to the stainless steel tanks in the white cellar. Things are starting to get a little sticky, especially in my area and with all the work I’m doing with juice…so I’m hoping not to adopt the nickname ‘sticky fingers’ or something. They’ve already labelled Stuart ‘Frosty’ because he is a bit of an aficionado with the use of dry ice.
This week coming we start getting some red grapes in so that will start making life busier for the boys up top, but it’s welcome as that will give me more peace down below.

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