Today was a legitimate day of harvest. We run a small operation so when 8 tons of Chardonnay shows up in the morning, that's a big day for this crew. Add in one of our custom crush clients popping up with a ton of Viognier, and you've got your day's work cut out for you.
One exciting thing about those 8 tons of Chardonnay was that for the first time ever, Calcareous brought in some machine picked fruit. I've only worked at small artisanal wineries, so I've never gotten to work with machine fruit. It is always one of those things I get to say, "All our fruit is handpicked", which sounds cool but I didn't have actual experience of the difference. So just for fun, we decided to try our hand at it.
I'd heard horror stories from friends who worked at wine factories overseas about the "bonus" material that comes along with machine fruit, so I knew we weren't just going to go straight to the press like we do with our Estate Chardonnay. We hand sorted through all 8 tons, pulling out anything and everything that didn't belong. It was quite an eye opener. I won't go into the details here, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to stomach a $3 bottle of wine quite as much ever again. In order to make that cheaply, you don't take the time and expense to hand sort all the fruit. At the end of the day, the fruit was quite beautiful. I'm excited to see how it turns out. There really wasn't much of a difference quality wise, just a matter of sorting out all the junk in the vineyard of in the winery.
So the press ran all day long, and the barrage of fruit was answered with a barrage of beers. We had some pizza delivered out into the country (by my wife, no pizza guy's coming way out here) and enjoyed these boys.
Some Dutch treats I picked up to test out:
Some German Pale
And the Hipster Pub Standard:
I think I'm gonna go with the kids on this one. Pabst just has a bit more flavor and slight "enjoyability", though the Oranjeboom was a close second. Beck's was pretty much Bud Light with lederhosen. Luckily, the tasting room showed mercy on me and all the rough stuff I've been drinking and deliverd a couple of six packs of higher caliber hops and malt. The future looks bright.
Also some new jams showed up in the mail yesterday, which always helps.