Cook Vineyard Weekly Newsletter 8.13.12
So how do the grapes get to the winery?
The most common way is the grapes are picked by hand into a little container called a 30 pound picking lug by the picker. This lug is then dumped into a half ton bin which is on a trailer in the field pulled by a tractor. When the bin is full the tractor takes it to a landing site where a forklift puts it on a truck bound to the winery. Some wineries prefer a “two ton bin” to be pulled through the field instead of a half ton bin; this makes it easier to unload at the winery. Wineries that are concerned about the fruit being crushed during transportation prefer the lugs to be stacked individually on a trailer in the field; these lugs are called “FYB’s” (Funny Yellow Bins due to them being Yellow). These bins were designed for the Sparkling Wine Industry.
Very few vineyards are harvested by machines in Sonoma, but do occur in larger vineyards.
If you would like to see the grapes being harvested, it’s best to set your alarm clock for Midnight due to the fact that most Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Vineyards are picked at night. This allows the cool fruit to come to the winery early in the morning and not allowing it to get warm during the process.
We are predicting our still wine harvest to start on September 15th. This will be 10 to 14 days earlier than last year. We do not harvest sparkling wines, but they will be beginning in the next few days.
If anyone wants to visit us in the vineyards to learn more about the world of viticulture, please call us at 707.490.8921. Also check our website www.cvmgrapes.com.