The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Pumping Merlot and Picking up the Petite Sirah

IMG_0005Today we pick up the Petite Sirah grapes from Chris van Alyea at his new digs up in San Marcos.ย  Unfortunately, the grapes arrived later than expected, although it’s not too bad, Paul and I had a lot to do before we head up to get them.ย  We spent about 4 hours racking the merlot off of the gross lees and then into our barrel, then we had to transport Paul’s juice to his house and pump it into his barrels there.

We still ended up getting to the winery just as the first lug of destemmed petite sirah was done.ย  The grapes looked great:

IMG_0006Each lug is approximately 1000 pounds of grapes.ย  The lugs got dumped into the shiny new destemmer:

IMG_0012We added dry ice to keep it cold, and scooped out our portion from the lugs into our trash cans.ย  The grapes had a funny greenish foam, but Chris said not to worry about it.


The trash cans were loaded into the truck with a lift, and I called my hubby to meet us at the office “winery” to help unload.ย  It was a long day, but any day spent winemaking is a good day.