This week during Crush in the Napa Valley the Robert Biale Vineyards began their harvest. They had some help with some family and friends pitching in to get all tasks done. The pictures below are all of the Biale crew crushing Zin grapes.
This first image is of Steve opening one of the large stainless steel tanks they are going to use to put the crushed grapes into. While in the tanks, the grapes and their juice will ferment. He is opening the door to put on a rubber seal that will make sure the door stays shut and no liquid gets out.
From the hopper, the grapes travel up the rig and the guys standing on next to the conveyor belt look for bad grapes, raisins, or other debris to take out before the de-stemer removes the grapes from the stems.
Once the grapes are seperated, they are put in the press at the Biale Vineyards where they get a very soft press to help some of the juice leave the grapes without fully breaking the skin.
The grapes come through the de-stemer quickly so they must be racked away into the rest of the bin so that they don't pile up and cause a problem.
Here you can see some of the Zin grape vines on just part of the Biale Vineyard lot. There are more where they came from and that is one reason why they are able to produce some 9 different versions of Zin (And yes you Black Chicken
fans - they are making that special blend as we speak).