Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pacific Star Winemaking and Highway 1

I talked to the owner last night at Pacific Star and she let me stay in the field at the front up towards the highway.  It had incredible view of sunset and the water.  4 regions,  4 wineries that have let me stay; I am liking this streak!  She also invited me to stay around and watch pressing of Petite Sirah this morning.  She said that it just has the most incredible color,  and it does.


I hung around for about 4 hours watching this process. Please forgive me if I get any of these facts wrong,  I will do the best I can to be accurate.  11 days ago they crushed 10 tons of grapes into the very large steel tank,  and today was the day to separate the wine from the skins and seeds.  They ran the juice from one tank,  though the press for a rough filter and back to another large tank. 

Once most of the wine was drained off, they had to get the skins, stems and seeds out of the tank and into the press (about 20 percent of the wine was still in this mix).  They had to shovel this mix out,  into a large crate that they then took over by fork lift to dump in a bin that the conveyer took and dumped into the press.  The press had a bladder in it that slowly pressed the mix to get out as much juice as possible.   At the end, all that was left was a very dry mix of the skins, stems and seed that did not even turn your hands purple if you picked it up.


These steel barrels, with 10 tons of grapes have about 25 oak barrels per tank,  24 cases per barrel,  288 bottles of wine per barrel,  so the process I was watching will end up with about 7200 bottles of wine!


At this particular winery, they buy barrels that have already been used once to produce wine from other wineries.  This way the oak that goes into the wine is a lot mellower (I actually like not having the overpowering oak flavor in a red). 


Please check out the website for more pictures of the entire process.  I would like to thank my gracious hosts for letting me stay and for inviting me to watch and learn about this part of the winemaking process.  If you are ever in the area, please make sure to stop by and visit the Pacific Star winery,  have some incredible wine, and enjoy the views.  It is definitely well worth the trip!


It was quite a day watching this process, along with the view.   I went back and made some lunch,  had a glass of my new favorite wine “Dad’s Daily Red”  and enjoyed the view before heading on down the coast toward San Francisco.  One stop I made was the Point Arena lighthouse.  It was too late to go up, but still had really nice views.  I made it about 130 miles,  but it took almost 4 hours because of all the curves and a few stops.  Still a lot of fun!

1 comment:

  1. I am glad David shared your blog site. I talked a friend here in the Bentsen Grove Resort into writing his travels and posting his pictures in a blog also. I am sharing it with David also. He has made forty two states in his travels.
    Corinne Higbee