Who says wineries don't still foot stomp their grapes? Our Grenache fruit came in today from Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, the last fruit of the season for Lumen! The berries looked beautiful, and after they went through the de-stemmer there was literally no free run juice - like three tons of sticky ball bearings. This is going to turn into a great wine, but it's awfully hard to start fermentation when there is no juice.
The solution? Will gets to climb into the bins and start a-stompin! The grapes were so cold that after the first bin he had to put on his wetsuit booties (special thanks to O'Neill Wetsuits). Who knew of the added benefit of being both a surfer and winemaker? Yet another melding of two of Will's biggest passions.
What comes next is the even-better part - seeing what legendary winemaker Lane Tanner can do with Grenache fruit. She has never made one before. But this Grenache will not be like the big, heavy, tannic Grenaches that you normally taste from California (which are more often then not blended with a healthy dose of Syrah to add weight and color). Grenache is a light-colored red grape, and when unblended, makes a finished wine that is similar in weight to Pinot Noir. It also has the same food-versatility, and is a grape varietal with a heck of a lot of personality (like Lane). No wonder Lane's favorite grape is Pinot Noir, but maybe after this vintage, that will change.