Stirring the Lees

With snow up in Tilden Park, it’s no wonder the winery has been a bit chillier the past few days. Jared and I bundled up for lab work Monday night, as pouring rain intermittently echoed throughout the cellar. Jared let me choose the wine we would taste and asses for the night, and I decided on the Brosseau Chardonnay. We worked our way through eight barrels, and each one was surprisingly different. The first four were fermenting in older barrels, which gave them a floral lavendar and honeysuckle flavor. The next two barrels were only two years old, and so had a more toasted and oaky taste. The last two were only a year newer, but had a distinct nose and taste of vanilla.
Then Jared taught me how to stir the lees in the barrels. He handed me a long, crooked metal contraption with handles, and instructed me that it should only touch the wineto prevent contamination. This was quite the challenge as I attempted to climb the ladder, maneuver through barrels, and fit the stirrer through small barrel holes without letting it brush up against anything. At least all the dodging and stirring action warmed me up! Hopefully we see some warmer weather for the open house tasting we’re holding on Saturday.