Page 12 - Grapevine SeptOct 2021
P. 12

In The Winery



                                                                                    Facing Challenges

                                                                       While new technology is helping wineries reduce
                                                                     costs and maximize crop yields for crush season,
                                                                     the deadly coronavirus and lingering drought con-
                                                                     tinue to be tough challenges even for the most
                                                                     experienced winemakers.
                 What Moves Your Wine?                                 Just ask Penelope Gadd-Coster, the award-win-


                                                                     ning winemaking consultant for Rack and Riddle
                                                                     Custom Wine Services in Sonoma County,
                                                                     California. She said that many of the safety steps
                                                                     Rack and Riddle put in place last year to protect
                                                                     against COVID-19 remain.


                                                                       “Well, just when we thought we might be over
                                                                     masks, they are back! Many things will be similar
                                                                     to last year: masks indoors, visitors will need to be
                                                                     masked, still need an appointment for meetings,
                                                                     Zoom will still reign as the communication tool.”

                Waukesha Positive Displacement & Centrifugal Pumps     These are just a few of the strategies that Rack &
                 Gentle, Efficient, Carlsen Quality                  Riddle has deployed to operate safely during the
                707-431-2000 • WWW.CARLSENASSOCIATES.COM             pandemic. With the tonnage of grapes it processes
                                                                     each year, the company has incorporated technolo-
                                                                     gy to accommodate some of its workloads.

                                                                       “Rack & Riddle has invested in some automation
                                                                     that is allowing us to keep steady staffing. For
                                                                     example, tirage bins are filled by robots. This was
                                                                     a task that was done by seasonal workers in the
                                                                     past,” said Gadd-Coster.


                                                                       As for the drought plaguing California and else-
                                                                     where, Gadd-Coster told The Grapevine Magazine
                                                                     that growers are being forced to take drastic mea-
                                                                     sures to conserve water for this year’s crush sea-
                                                                     son.


                                                                       “The drought is a bigger change as Healdsburg is
                                                                     having to drop [usage] by 40%. Businesses are hav-
                                                                     ing to come up with ways to make this happen as
                                                                     well. For the vineyards, [it’s] either recycled water
                                                                     or no water for vines unless the growers filled res-
                                                                     ervoirs before the restrictions. Many thought that
                                                                     harvest would be early due to the drought, but it is
                                                                     actually coming later than average in many areas.”


                                                                       Other grape-growing regions, including the

               Page 10                       The Grapevine • September - October 2021                            877-892-5332





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