Argyle Winery Punchdown

After a day of server config and other techie stuff, I got elbow deep in fermenting pinot noir at Argyle Winery.

This is harvest season and it’s a special time at Argyle. After harvesting vast amounts of vineyard property, grapes are brought to the winery for destemming, crushing and fermentation. Argyle is one of the few wineries left that still manually crush grapes and perform the ‘punchdown’ ritual – huge 500 gallon containers of fermenting grapes are mixed by hand (truly grueling work) to perfect the mixture of juice, sugars and yeast. After punchdown, the juice ferments and is then barrelled for fining and aging.

Willy (holding the grapes) is in charge of the lab at Argyle where all the wines are made.
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

Cathy (Argyle’s marketing director) and I had fun doing punchdown.
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

You can see the grapes and juices bubbling up to the top. The juice naturally heats up to 80° or more due to the fermentation process.
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

Next year this gorgeous mixture will be sitting in a bottle on my dinner table! Yuuu-uuum!
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

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