What if Christmas came twice a year? What if, instead of Christmas being one day, or two days, it was September 5th- November 8th? Every day. Well welcome to winemaking.
Want some last second syrah? Done. The sauv blanc was over-cropped but is miraculously packed with mature polyphenols? Great. Mother Nature feels like being awesome? Thanks. And suddenly you have the same sized barrel room as last year, only this year you have to pack in triple the barrels.
So you stack 4 high. And then you line your rows extra tight. Herein is the detail in which the Devil lays. One month later, you have to top. And if you don’t want elevated levels of acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, or any number of other issues, you’re going to want to top every last barrel.
If what you’re going for is mass production of nail polish remover or vinegar, take this route. But if you’re interested in making fine wines, better get skinny enough to fit through those barrel rows and start topping.
It has been a joy coming back to work. But I was thinking the other day, it is such a deeper, more vivid joy to no longer be a pregnant winemaker.