Beginner’s Varietal Focus Group Gets “Zin” Crushed!

Over a dozen new winemakers experienced the rush of the crush last Saturday!

Turning Cellar Master Henry Wilkinson’s driveway into a crushpad, participants of the Beginner’s Varietal Focus Group got a taste of what it’s like to crush 1 1/2 tons.  The Zinfandel was sourced from Amador Cellars in Plymouth, and immediately after crushing, came in at 26 degrees Brix with a pH of 3.6.  Henry Wilkinson and Thad Rodgers hauled 3 macro bins back to Sacramento .  Each group participant received at least 125 lbs to make 5 gallons of finished wine. VP Bill Staehlin demonstrated the use of a hydrometer.  Other SHW members were on hand to provide technical expertise and psychological support including Neal Shleffar, Tom Engel, Donna Bettencourt, Steve Barrett and Donna Brown.  This varietal focus group is mentored by Henry Wilkinson and Gin Yang.

Many thanks to Larry Long, owner/grower at Amador Cellars for making his grapes available to the group, and to The Donner Boys for the use of their destemmer-crusher and to Henry who coordinated this effort.