Page 8 - Grapevine September 2020
P. 8

In The Winery

                                                                    Not one to rest on its gold medal wins in interna-
                                                                  tional and regional competitions, Gadd-Coster says
                                                                  that Rack and Riddle continually works on ways to
                                                                  make good wine better. Its winemaking team pro-
                                                                  vides a thorough assessment of key fundamentals,
                                                                  such as training and workflow. Consideration of new
                                                                  processes and equipment plays a role in determining
                                                                  what will work towards improving the end product.

                                                                    “By May, we are looking at vineyards closely and
                                                                  working with growers,” says Gadd-Coster. “Projects
                                                                  are being evaluated to make sure they will be ready
                                                                  for harvest. About a month before harvest, the meet-
                                                                  ings become weekly to fine-tune protocols, train
                                                                  teams and check equipment. Then, harvest begins!”

                                                                    Key to that harvest is equipment—looking for inno-
                                                                  vation and keeping existing machinery in shape.
                                                                  Gadd-Coster says both earn equal attention.

                                                                    “There seems to always be something we see to
                                                                  make processing more efficient,” she says. “We have
                                                                  a new lees filter and some flotation pumps for this
                                                                  year. Maintenance always wants to check all of your
                                                                  equipment: pumps, crusher, presses, filters, tem-
                                                                  perature gauges, heating and cooling systems, punch
                                                                  down devices, lab equipment, scale, forklifts, pomace
                                                                  truck—anything mechanical—two to four months
                                                                  ahead of harvest.”

                                                                    No matter the size of the operation, those in the
                                                                  wine industry know to expect the unexpected.
                                                                  Among the largest in the business is Napa Valley’s
                                                                  Trinchero Family Estates, which introduced the world
                                                                  to the first White Zinfandel. Since its founding in
                                                                  1948, the company has amassed a globally recog-
                                                                  nized brand portfolio of some fifty wines and spirits.
                                                                  Its harvest begins in early August. Glenn Andrade is
                                                                  Senior Vice President of Winemaking.

                                                                    “We know that preparation for the upcoming har-
                                                                  vest starts after the finish of the previous harvest,”
                                                                  Andrade says. “Learning from every step and build-
                                                                  ing onto our knowledge with each passing year is so
                                                                  important. We do extensive recap meetings to deter-
                                                                  mine what our successes were and identify areas
                                                                  where we can make improvements. Hiring staff for
                                                                  harvest is also critical—which we start in January and
                                                                  do through July before harvest. Getting those folks

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