While we wait for budbreak in the vineyard, the winery team has been working on our wines to be sure they are ready to go as soon as we can welcome you back to the tasting room!
Today, Cellar Master Ethan Ray takes us through a process called Topping Off which is done frequently in the barrel room.
The Topping Off process is crucial to the winemaking process because without it we would be making very expensive vinegar! The wines are stored in wood barrels and those barrels breathe in and out. Through that process, some of the wine is lost to evaporation creating space for oxygen inside the barrel. This same process happens in whisky barrels and is often referred to as the angel’s share.
But, in winemaking, the presence of oxygen can ruin the wine turning it sour and bitter. So, Ethan and Assistant Winemaker Cody Alt have to regularly take down each barrel from where it’s stored, move it to the floor and refill each barrel to ensure there is no space left for oxygen after evaporation has taken place.
Our winery also has two huge humidifiers which help control the temperature and humidity in the barrel room, but there is still work that needs to be done.
Here is Ethan explaining more about the process and the role it plays in creating our delicious estate wines.