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Harvest news1

Sep 8, 2023 • 2 min read

Harvest Prep in One Million Easy Steps: Part 2

 While our Vineyard Manager Mike is sampling grapes, prepping the vineyard rows and fighting off deer and birds, our production team gears up for harvest by cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning. Because wine is a living thing, we need the cleanest atmosphere possible. What do we clean?

The press is cleaned, greased and prepared for receiving fruit. Hoses and pumps that move wine and juice from one part of the winery to another.  Settling tanks are cleaned and then moved into cellar.  And in one final push, the entire cellar is cleaned top to bottom. 

Leading the charge is our new Director if Wine Operations, Kevin Uhl (pictured below). Kevin has years of experience in the cellar, starting in 2006 with a harvest position in Walla Walla, Washington. After a few more harvests and studying winemaking at a local community college, Kevin's wife suggested a move to her home state of Michigan. It was here that Kevin fell in love with sparkling wine, first making it at Bel Lago, then honing his craft here at MAWBY, Black Star Farms and Kerloo Cellars in the Seattle area. We are excited to have him back at MAWBY.

Besides cleaning, Kevin and his team do the following to turn juice into wine, and then into (our favorite) bubbly.

Yeast Selection: Yeast is used to convert sugar to alcohol. Different yeast strains unlock different flavors and expressions in the grapes.  One yeast strain can showcase a red fruit profile while another can bring forward more tropical notes. And every year, we try experiments, like a new yeast type, a different blend of grapes or a new vineyard. With experimentation we hope to improve our envisioned final wine.

Fermentation Plan: As the grapes come to the winery, winemakers need to know what to do with them. Are we making red wine, white, or in Mawby's case, sparkling? Each style requires handling the grapes differently. Working back from the envisioned final wine, we put a fermentation plan in place.

Stay Calm and Prepare: Even after ticking every box and checking our list twice, we understand we are at Mother's Natures mercy. Sometimes, it is easy to forget that the wine in your glass is an agricultural product. So we stay calm, roll with the punches and are thankful for another year we get to make wine in this "Land of Delight".

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