There's a charming story that once St. Nick delivers presents (or coal) to the children of the world his work is done for the year; he then escapes to a sandy warm beach in Hawaii or Tahiti to enjoy frozen drinks and a much needed vacation. It is a misconception that winemakers and vineyard managers retreat for some R&R once fruit is in. However, they will be the first to tell you this is wrong and that the work in the winery and vineyard is hardly over at this time.
Cellarmaster, François Dereeper, and Winemaker & Partner, David O'Reilly, have shared with us the current happenings at the Washington winery and estate vineyard. While the pace is certainly slower and the days are shorter than at harvest, it's not all Leis and Mai Tais around here!
'Tis the season of racking!! After 2 months of harvest and hard work, it is time to put the wines to sleep. The fermentations are over, the wines are sulfured and we began racking them, hoping to finish racking the approximately 800 barrels before Christmas! For this important task, we put Jose on it, helped by an awesome team of barrel cleaners : Juan and Rosalino." - François Dereeper
"After harvest in Yakima Valley and after the first measurable rainfall - we seed the rows with a legume mix cover crop. Farming organically, we look to mother nature to help amend the nitrogen deficient soils and these awesome nitrogen fixers improve the fertility of these volcanic hillsides. Additionally, we employ manure applications to provide other essential elements necessary for healthy soils." -David O'Reilly
All photos by François Dereeper.