Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Stomping fresh grapes into Chardonnay

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related YouTube Video

Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012 5:26 pm | Updated: 6:04 am, Tue Sep 4, 2012.

Laura Chadwell was nearly ten feet in the air, balancing in a grape press. Her braided ponytail swung back and forth as she threw the mass of her body into the grapes under her feet. The tank was pretty full, but more clusters of Chardonnay were waiting to join their sticky, sugary fellows inside. It was Chadwell’s job to make room.

This was crushing duty at Jessie’s Grove Winery on Saturday. And Chadwell was in up to her hips.

Chadwell is a harvest intern at the winery. When she’s not climbing inside the press tank, she studies viticulture and enology at University of California Davis.

“This winery is smaller, and I can do more hands on work,” she said.

Chardonnay clusters were pulled off the vines on Turner Road and carted in bins to the gleaming silver crusher.

Tyler Smith, assistant winemaker, maneuvered a forklift up to the press to dump in a load of grapes. Then another. And one more, until it was full.

Chadwell climbed up the ladder in thick rubber boots and stained jeans to clamber inside the tank. The squishy fruit is unexpectedly dense, and takes some strength to pack it in.

When she climbed out, green grape skins and juice dripped from her boots. Her arms were covered in sugar and bits of stems. But she was grinning.

Her boss stood to the side, watching his employees get the grapes through the first stage of winemaking.

“Getting up to your elbows in your work is not such a bad thing,” said Greg Burns, winery owner.

The juice from Saturday’s grapes was pumped into a holding tank so dirt and particulates can fall out of the mix. It will remain for two days until it moves to the next step on the 18 month journey to becoming a bottle of wine.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 37

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists