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Donkey & Goat

Berkeley's first natural winery, crafting wines
from sustainably farmed vineyards since 2004.

Early morning pleasures

With harvest, comes three times a day punch downs of our reds. We handle this with our great intern team and ourselves. The 550 L puncheons are not hard to punch down, just a work out. Our 4200 L (4 plus tons of fruit) wood fermentor is a different story. The first two to three days when fermentation starts, it is nearly impossible to punch down using the punch down tools.

Yesterday, the Broken Leg Syrah started to ferment. It is in the big guy, our affectionate name for the 4200 L tank. This morning around 6 AM, I tried to punch down using the tools. Within seconds, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to without tremendous effort.

So, I decided to do it the old fashioned way. I quickly washed my legs, sprayed them with alcohol and jumped in and stomped. The grapes are getting warm with fermentation – around 70 degrees. The air was closer to 55 creating a wonderful contrast. It was a great way to start out the day.

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