First day of classes

Anticlimactic; classes officially began today, but we have been working hard in the cellar for the last few weeks so sitting in class was actually a nice break.  I worked at the small wineries I have been helping with on Saturday and Sunday.  Bruised, blistered and battered I realized I truly enjoy crush and can’t believe it took me so long to finally get into the industry.

The press bled red as we cleaned up after the Sangiovese.
The press bled red as we cleaned up after the Sangiovese.

Over the weekend we destemmed Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sangiovese grapes.  The Sangiovese will be a rose’, so we pressed it off of the skins later the same day.

I was at the school cellar this morning to help rack Chardonnay and Viognier grape juices and clean out a tank.  Filling barrels, stainless or oak, takes some getting used to since there is no good way to ‘see’ the contents as it fills.  Happy for the experience of doing so with nine barrels in succession as I know to knock the side of the barrel for sound, look for condensation on the outside of the stainless barrel, use a flashlight to gauge the reflection of the liquid and to pay attention to the rate of flow since time to fill can depend upon how fast the liquid is moving.

The book I gave an hour of my life to purchase today.
The book I gave an hour of my life to purchase today.

I needed one book for my soils class.  Immediately following class I headed down to the bookstore since I had an hour.  When I worked at CWU I avoided the bookstore the first and last week of the quarter due to the chaos of students dealing with books; today I was in the thick of it.  Picking up my one book and stepping into the check-out line, which wound completely back on itself to the door, took about a minute.  Waiting in line and checking out took another 55 minutes.  Thankfully I walk fast and made it to my next class as it began.

Our afternoon session was to break into groups and determine what red wine and what white wine we wanted to make this quarter.  The red wine will stay with us through our two years together, but the white is a single-quarter wine.  This evening we have to research Merlot and Viognier grapes and wines so we can discuss our approach to them during tomorrow afternoon’s session.  As vague as this may sound, it is where we left off this afternoon.

My second day will begin in the vineyard picking Viognier grapes from the college vineyard, processing Syrah grapes for the special group I am working with, which needs some of the Viognier grapes from the morning’s harvest, and a soils lab before the discussion about our two wines.   Might have more excitement to it, maybe?

Most days will be fairly mundane and won’t merit photos, on other days I will take the time to snap some pictures..

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