Folie a Deux Crush Fantasy

A Lot of R&R by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
September 29, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

My life as an intern at Folie à Deux is packed full of R&R. I’m not talking about rest and relaxation folks. It’s all about rack and return, which isn’t restful or relaxing. It is hard work.

All of this R&R started when our first red grapes came in from the vineyards.  Rack and return is essentially drawing the fermenting must off of the skins and seeds, and sending it into a clean tank. I hook up the intake hose to a bin with a screen to catch skins and seeds and an outtake hose to an empty tank. From here, I drain the tank through the screen and send the juice it to the empty tank. Did I forget to mention that we are dealing with 1000 gallons of juice running through the filter?

Keeping the Screen Open for R&R

Keeping the Screen Clear for R&R

The tank is full of skins and seeds which come out with the juice, all of which needs to be shoveled.  And it is a lot of shoveling.  I literally have to shovel as fast as I can to keep the seeds and skins from clogging the screen. It’s quite the morning workout. My arms look much better than they ever did when I was a kindergarten teacher. The biggest problem I have with this racking is the purple-hands syndrome.

A couple days ago, I picked up my nieces from school and one of my former students said “Teacher Lori, you look like a boy.” I guess the dirty work clothes, cellar boots, stained purple hands, and sun hat  threw him off. Winemaking is not all berets and winemaking clichés. Although, I do feel a bit like Lucy and Ethel while I’m stomping around inside the tanks.

Shoveling Inside the Tank

Shoveling Inside the Tank

I must say, it’s challenging getting up crazy early and shoveling grape skins at five in the morning. What I like about the R&R is when I’m ready to return, it’s just about sunrise. I can go up on the winery catwalk and watch the fog lift while the sun rises over the mountains and vineyards. It makes these 12 hour days worth it!

Greetings, From Inside a Wine Tank!

Greetings, From Inside a Wine Tank!


6 Comments so far
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Seems like lots of fun sis, hope your still having fun. Long hours get to you but the best of all is when on that wednesday you get that check. $$$$$$$$$$$$ Oh yeah that was all worth it…

Comment by Jourdan

Thank you Jourdan, l know you know all about hard work! Seeing how you have been doing this for years.

Comment by lori carter

Great blogsite sweetie !!! Uncel G

Comment by Uncle G

Why thank you Uncle, it’s been great fun even after all the hard work.

Comment by lori carter

Better you than me! Makes me have a lot more respect for this field of work. Great blog..


Comment by Jay

Thank you J, it is very hard work but it can be very fun at times.I to have a new found respect for wine, knowing all that goes into it’s making.

Comment by lori carter

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