2017 “Crush” recap!
In 2017 we crushed 60,607 pounds of grapes here at the winery in Billings. Our crush consisted of nine different wine varietals of Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Rhone, Spanish and Italian heritage. We sourced from three vineyards: Elephant Mountain Vineyard, Yakima, WA; Lonesome Spring Ranch, Benton City, WA and Kirsten Rose Vineyard, Kennewick, WA.
The yield from this crush was sixty-one, 60-gallon barrels of wine.
The first grape run — Loaded with Viognier and Syrah grapes and ready to head home from Elephant Mountain Vineyard near Yakima, WA .
Our grapes are picked early in the mornings and loaded into the transport bins for the 750-mile trip home to the winery. Crush takes place the next morning.
The post marking our reserved rows. We typically reserve rows several months in advance of harvest. We monitor the maturation of the grapes throughout the growing season.
A group of volunteers working to keep the crusher/destemmer going. The wine “must” is pumped directly into fermentation bins and inoculated with wine yeast to begin fermentation.
During crushing and fermentation, the different types of grapes are kept strictly separated from one another. Each varietal receives it’s own bin. Fermentation usually takes from 14-20 days.
Customers are also welcome to try their hand at punching down! This keeps all the grapes skins hydrated to increase extraction of flavor, color and aroma compounds from the grape skins.
The fermented must (skins, pulp, juice and seeds of the grapes) is collected in a catch tank and pumped directly to 60-gallon oak wine barrels to begin the two years of aging. The “band of brothers” take a break after a long day of pressing must.