Harvest is done – all the grapes are snuggled into their respective stainless steel (inox) tanks for fermentation. Now in the midst of pump-overs. That’s where we take the juice from the bottom of the tank and ‘pump-over’ to the top. Both the tanks in the picture are set up for it, with the pump running on the tank on the right

The pump runs for about an hour to turn the entire amount of juice over once, and I do that 2 times per day ( 8 am and 8pm). This is to ensure good extraction of color and fruit aromas and tannins from the skins into the juice – if you don’t pump-over (or “punch-down” – a technique used in open-top fermenters) you don’t get the good deep color -because the skins all float on the top as a ‘cap’. As you can see, color is extracted pretty quickly – this is the ‘Old Vines” grapes – we picked those on Tuesday and they are just getting started at fermentation, but already you can see the color in the juice as it sprays back over the top of the berries.

That’s why we press the juice off the skins immediately when making rose – it takes almost NO time to get too much color. By the way, the rose’s are done fermenting – both the cinsault and the grenache. Lovely light colors and lots of fruit flavors – with the acidity you want for a rose. I think this one will be even better than the 2009.

On a personal note, I went yesterday to take the written exam for my driver’s license (Permit de Conduit)..FLUNKED IT! Missed 8 questions – you can only miss 4 to pass. Still having a language issue with some of the questions..and then some were just pretty obscure. Wish I could blame it on the harvest – your know, mind elsewhere and all, but….guess I just wasn’t prepared. Oh well..BACK TO SCHOOL I go.