There they are. The 2010 vintage waiting to be racked. What is racking you ask and why do we do it? Racking is the process of moving the wine off the “lees” (dead yeast cells and other sediment) into a clean barrel. Racking allows clarification or “cleaning up” of the wine and removes sediment that can produce bacterial spoilage or other problems. It also aids in stabilization of the young wine.
Think of racking like decanting a wine, but on a larger scale. Exposing a young wine to some oxygen helps form deeper color pigments and soften tannins.
We racked the 2010 vintage on April 3rd. Thanks to a legion of volunteers working two shifts, it only took 9 hours. We pumped all two barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon into a large stainless steel tank to free up two empty barrels. After rinsing the barrels, they were then filled with other wines, leaving us with two empty barrels...and so the process went.
On May 1, we blended our 2009 Storm Front and a new limited release 2009 red wine. We are working on our labels, ordering corks, and getting ready to bottle these wonderful dark, rich wines in June. Look for a release after crush this fall.
If you just can’t wait, we will be barrel sampling the ’09 Storm Front at the Third Thursday Wine Walk on May 19 and also at our Spring Barrel Tasting on May 28. We will offer discounted futures (pre-sales) of Storm Front at both events. Then the barrels close until bottling.
Our winery dog Chester is in the new Winery Dogs of Washington book. This beautiful coffee table book is only $38 and is available at the winery.