Barrels, barrels everywhere—a sure sign in the cellar that harvest is around the corner. Owner Edz and Winegrower Ben are racking wine. Racking simply means moving wine from one vessel to another, and we do this for many reasons throughout the aging process.
Today, they are cleaning barrels to remove the fine lees (second to last image), and to aerate the wines a bit as they pump them back into the same barrels. This is called rack and return. Aeration—how many times, how vigorous, and at what point(s) in the aging process—is a winemaker call depending on the overall goal for a particular wine.
We also put together our red blends at this time. Hello Cross Country Red and Hot Donkey! This is the last time we will rack these barrels before bottling next winter. Now we prepare for Harvest 2022, which starts in just a few weeks!