Monday, August 31, 2015

Wine anyone?

So when a friend asks if I'm free to help crush some grapes at a local winery, I hop on my bike and head over.  Just going with the flow, with images of stomping on grapes in the sun, wine squirting everywhere for a few hours.  Turns out, we'd be working in a huge warehouse full of wine vats, very industrial and the grapes I would be working with would be the infamous red, zinfandel.

Oh, and the amount of grapes we would be working with was over 7 tons.  That's over 14,000 pounds.  Not just a few hours work.  14 crates packed to the brim with zinfandel grapes, each weighing around 1,000 pounds. 

I would be working on the destemmer, taking stems, leaves and twigs out after the grapes had been run through a grinder and mixer, to separate the grapes from the vine and stems mechanically.  The grapes were dumped up top:

Then after working their way through, they would move via vibrations towards me, to use the human element to get what the machine couldn't.  The hours passed and it turned into an all day project, grapes being sorted, squished, destemmed and finally being dumped into a vat:

All in all, we yielded about 9,500 pounds of zinfandel to be turned into the first wine of the season.  Not all the rest was lost, as the juice that came off the processor will be turned into a rosé blend that will contain the juice of 3 grape varieties and be on the lighter, sweeter side.  Two 60 gallon barrels were filled up with the rosé grapes from today.

So that is what my day off turned out to be.  How was yours?

Zinny zin zin!
7 tons of zinfandel grapes ready to go

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fan for life

Dodger fan for life, ever since my first birthday outing at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers were up in Oakland to play the A's, so a friend and myself drove up to watch the boys in blue.  Definitely lots of the color blue all over the stands, it was a great atmosphere, more of a party atmosphere than other stadiums I've been to, and people were pretty riled up.  Lively and loud, Oakland lived up to its reputation.  With Clayton Kershaw (best pitcher in baseball) pitching, the Dodgers took a 3 run lead in the 7th.  A's fans started leaving and the Dodgers fans took out, getting loud and loving it.  Until our dismal bullpen gave up the lead and ended up losing the game in 10 innings.  Great time despite the loss, as I visited my 10th ballpark.  Checking them off the list one at a time!