The 1899 project is in full swing. We have three barrels of pinot that have never been moved with internal combustion or electricity. We picked them by hand, brought them to the winery by horse, and dropped them using gravity into a wood fermenter using whole-cluster and a hand-crank destemmer.
They experienced a 10-day cold-soak before their native yeast took over and fermentation took off. We stomped them by foot, pumped out the free-run with a hand pump and barreled them down for the winter. As they were proceeding slowly through malolactic fermentation in their double-bunged barrels (a technique we learned from Erin and Russ at Evesham Wood), we got a package from Burgundy. Thanks to my great friend in Burgundy, Peter Julian, Illahe is now in possession of some winemaking tools from the good old days.Some of them are going to be easy to incorporate in everyday winemaking—one is a long barrel filler that Gabe has been using to top, and another a double-screw cork puller that you will see at the bar next time you're up.
We have a bunch of wooden racking valves that look cool, but we also got a spectacular bronze one that has a maker's mark, A.D. We'll be racking with this in a few months. We have new metal pipettes (wine thieves). We also scored a pruning hook and a strange screw on a gantry. Hmm...anyone know what this is?