The grape clusters are emptied into a hopper. The berries are gently vibrated off the stem- both the berries and stems remain intact, with no crushing of the stalk (which imparts the flavors of plant matter rather than fruit). Seeds are extracted, so unwanted tannins from the seed is avoided.
The berries fall through the conveyor onto sorting rollers. The first set of sorting rollers allows juice, small berries, raisins and small pieces of plant material to fall into a separate container, which is used as compost.
The ripe berries then ride over the second set where they fall through and out of the bottom of the machine into a hose, which conveys it to the fermentation bins.
Larger objects, like rachis, leaves and petioles, move over the roller and into a waste auger and are discarded out of the side of the machine into a separate bin.
Any juice generated during the process is separated by a screen and collected at the bottom of the container, then manually added to the fermentation bins.
With 98% fruit cleanliness from foreign matter and whole berries that have had no bruising to create dull flavors, only the purest, liveliest flavors go into the fermentation process to create another delicious vintage.
The machine was able to process 6 tons in an half hour. WOW!
It was fun watching the grapes and juice pumping through the white hoses to the nozzle pouring it into the fermentation bin. The hose was hard to hold onto, and William happily assisted the winery crew.
Each vineyard sub block is fermented separately, as each as subtle but important flavor profile variations that will allow blending to a beautiful aromatic and delicious cabernet sauvignon from the estate. Specific barrels are selected for OCFV Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. Other barrels will be selected for Gabrielle Collection and Gabrielle Limited Cabernets.
We take extreme care to preserve the freshness of our fruit and dry ice is put into each fermentation bin to control temperature as well as add CO2 as a deterrent to fruit oxidation.
Each bin will sit for 2 days in a cold soak extracting amazing flavors from the skins before fermentation is started, through yeast and inoculation.
We strive for ultimate quality!