Page 7 - Grapevine September 2020
P. 7

In The Winery

               the industry could see over the next few years.”     are standard procedure.

                 Fruit that survived arrived early this year, says     “Removing grape skins from a large tank requires
               Franklin, some of it as soon as mid-June. The com-   tank entry and can release large amounts of CO2 as
               pany’s advanced planning and preparation, start-     the skins are removed,” he says. “Our procedures
               ing as early as February, is all the more important   require anyone entering a tank to have proper PPE
               this crush season. As the fruit ripens, an in-house   and an O2 sensor on them with a fan pushing fresh
               lab gives growers across Texas an opportunity to     air in the tank before entering.”
               test field samples for Brix, pH, TA and seed color.
               Michael Hellman is Texas Custom Wine Works             In California’s Sonoma County, the award-winning
               executive winemaker.                                 Rack and Riddle Custom Wine Services begin har-
                                                                    vesting the first week of August. The full-service
                 “High heat and drought-like conditions this year   wine production operation is famous for creating
               are causing some very high Brix and early develop-   sparkling wines using the traditional French pro-
               ment,” says Hellman. “We are seeing most varieties  cess known as Méthode Champenoise. Penelope
               ripen at the same time. Even some of the reds will   Gadd-Coster, Executive Director of Winemaking,
               be coming in before whites.”                         and a well-respected master of the Méthode
                                                                    Champenoise process, says that planning for crush
                 In addition to standard-issue PPE supplies, such   season happens virtually year-round.
               as goggles, raincoats, rubber boots and gloves,
               Texas Custom Wine Works has incorporated indus-        “Planning really never ends, as we are evaluat-
               try-wide COVID-19 protections in its health and      ing the wines for the blends, evaluating what has
               safety protocols. Hellman says that other worker     worked and what didn’t, upgrading equipment—all
               protections for entering tanks and press cleaning    working towards the next harvest,” she says.

               877-892-5332                  The Grapevine • September - October 2020                             Page 5

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