Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cabernet Crush 2008

What a perfect day!!!! There's nothing like a road trip with some girlfriends! The day started with a 5:30 am wake up call (I didn't know my alarm clock even had that time on it.....). It was hard to get up that early since Heidi came to spend the night Friday night and we had started our wine adventure then...... but we pushed on through to get our day going.

Erica joined us at 6:30 and loaded up and got started. With a quick stop at Starbucks to wake us up we headed over the mountians. We watched the sun coming up all the way over- and we saw a million wonderful photo ops- but I declined siting that we could do it on the way home and that we told the folks at Napeequa that we'd be there before 9 am to help with the crush.... Little did any of us know how long it would be- and that we'd be coming home in the dark again!

It was well worth it tho- we had a blast and we learned so much about the making of our favorite beverages.

Heidi and Erica along with three other volunteers were the designated crush helpers. My jobs were cheif photographer and wine room assistant. I was to help Miss Kim pour for the masses as they came to do some tasting, and to pull wine orders and get them bagged up. I have to admit- that I was nervous when I first started out- not at helping customers- I've got 20 years of retailing and customer service under my belt- but because I'm no wine expert- I know what I like- and what I like to cook/serve with the wines from Napeequa... but I quickly relaxed and enjoyed my chats with folks...

There's a saying that states "Good wine isn't cheap- and cheap wine is no good!" And boy is that the truth! But after participating in the whole process from the sterilization of every single piece of the equiptment, to the set up, and the crushing, the sorting, the chemistry and precision involved and then the clean up- you can totally understand why the quality of the smaller wine makers is so good- and it may be a bit pricier than other bottles you can buy - but it's so worth it! The other thing is- that at Napeequa- when you go to the tasting room in Plaine, WA and you have the opportunity to taste the different varieties- you get something different than the run of the mill- they are unique and beautiful flavors. It's easy to see that's why they have won so many awards.
Here Erica and Heidi are warming up for the day with more coffe.

And this fire pit was an inviting spot to warm up through out the day. We all smelled like camfire coming home- and crisp mountain air- it's a comforting smell. :)

The sky was flawless- not a single cloud and I'm not even sure what color to compare it to- but it was perfection none-the-less! The trees all around us were like a crayon box- so many brillant colors!

Here winemaker David is inspecting the cabernet grapes before we get started.

Michael pressure washing and sterilizing every piece before we could start!

Lots more scrubbing and sanitizing.....

Erica's extremely fashionable boots were a hit with everyone!

The grapes that become Cabernet- before and after......

The sorting table- pulling out any foreign matter- leaves, stems, etc.

The crushed grapes as they leave the sorting table- and that pink necter will soon become the Cab Sav we all know and love so much!

Michael proudly showing me how beautiful and big these clusters are.

And that in about 18 months- those grapes will be for sale just like this one! Get your bids in early folks- because the 2008 is going to be magnificent! And you can say that you personally know the people who helped to make it! :) (how often can you claim that??????)

The whole gang working the grapes......

More of the crushed grapes and juices....

Another hot item in the tasting room yesterday was the Trillium Rose'....not your g'ma's Rose- this is a Syrah blend- and your nose tells you one thing- and your mouth tells you another- starts sweet and finishes dry....

Here we three are- end of the day- and totally done. Sticky, tired and smelling of camp fires- but contented and happy. We had all helped our friends at Napeequa, ate well, drank better and laughed much. Sounds like a recipe for a perfect day........

Thank you David and Michael for letting us join you yesterday- that was a beautiful memory making day- and all three of us said we'd do it again- any time!

1 comment:

Heidilynn said...

I am absolutely IN LOVE with Napeequa wines. After experiencing the crush, the detailed involvement and care which goes into their wines, I will be one of the biggest fans and spokes person. I went for the opportunity to learn something more about winemaking, and came home with an experience I cannot put into the right words. Didi you have captured "the words" with your pictures. To David & Michael, THANK YOU for the experience and THANK YOU for sharing your wines. My tastebuds are in love.