Friday, 8 February 2013
Why yes, that is me at the bottom of a fermentation vat.
It's been far too long since my last shed update. You'll be happy to know that I've been filling that time with writing and tasting wine in almost equal measure. I've also participated in some fantastic Unbound, Live! events. They're so good they have an exclamation point. So this photo of me doing a Jack Nicholson at the bottom of a vat of mourvèdre, eh? What's that all about? Well, that's a 20 hectolitre tank, which is quite small as fermentation vats go.
As such, in order to empty into the press after the juice has finished fermentation, someone has to get inside and push the skins out into the drum of the press. But wait, that's not all! The tank has to be lifted up by a forklift and moved over the press. All with me in it. I also need a hose to use as a snorkel, just in case I suffocate on CO2 left over from fermentation. "Hold on a sec", I hear you mutter, "how on earth does that conform to any manner of health and safety regulation?" I just chuckle. It doesn't. Making wine is very much an "at your own risk" sort of pursuit.