While on our Central Coast Wine Tour, we spent some quality time at Estancia Estates and Winery in Soledad, CA. Winemaker, Scott Kelley introduced us to many of their winemaking processes and since we were there during harvest, we got to see a lot of the action! Estancia is a certified sustainable winery, 75% of the energy they use is solar and they’re in the process of increasing that statistic. They’ve put a lot of thought and time into making their wines the best that they can be, not just through bringing great fruit in from their vineyards, but by streamlining and perfecting the way that they actually make their 850,000 cases of wine.
From the de-stemming and processing of the Chardonnay juice to punching down the Pinot Noir, we got to see it all!
Here’s the huge auger that processes the Chardonnay, we were tempted to raft down the river of juice as it flowed along on it’s way to becoming great wine:
And here are the Pinot Noir grapes after they’ve been picked and de-stemmed. They’re careful to gently break the skin and let the juice come out, but not smash it and have bitter tannins get into the wine:
Here’s the story about it all, straight from the winemaker’s mouth: