Today we whipped thru another 10 tons of grapes - this is becoming old hat and I am becoming a better and better forklift driver! Today marked the completion of initial fermentation of our first 5 ton batch of grapes - remember them back on Sept 17th? Before leaving tonight we moved the tank onto the lift and let the lift do it's magic raising the tank up to the heavens - ok so only up about 4 feet (see first pic). A hose was attached and run to another tank (see pic 2). When the valve was opened the juice ran to the second tank. This was left to drain overnight and is known as the free run juice - a better quality juice. Tomorrow we will take the remaining mass of grapes from tank 1 and press out the excess juice. I will be especially curious to see how much free run juice is in tank # 2 in the morning.
Tomorrow will be a long long day (although today's 11 hour shift was long as well - thank god for OT!) We have the press plus our punch downs - now with 6 tanks to work our muscles, and we will have a whopping 15 tons of grapes awaiting us at 6am.