Salt & Old Vines

By Richard W H Bray

A real taste of winemaking - true stories about a wine, the people who make it and the place it's made

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.

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David A Bell
 David A Bell says:

Enjoying this. Keep up the good work.

posted 13th February 2013

Richard W H Bray
 Richard W H Bray says:

Thank you, sir. There will be a new post very shortly. Possibly this evening.

posted 18th February 2013

Martin Baker
 Martin Baker says:

Hi Richard - Finally came good on my promise to pledge at the Dover St Arts Club. The updates are fun, well done. Really looking forward to the finished work... Best, Martin.

posted 21st March 2013

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