Written by Neil Bernardi, Duckhorn Wine Company's Vice President of Winemaking, and PJ Alviso, our Director of Estate Viticulture. This collection of insights on the farming, winemaking and production process is a great way to experience the excitement of the entire winemaking process.
Meet our two cellar interns, Holly and Kendall. Holly comes from UC Davis and Kendall comes from Texas Tech. Their passion for winemaking has brought them into our cellar to learn and become the best winemakers they could be. Today they learned how to perform their first inoculation.
Doing inoculations during harvest is one of the most important jobs in the cellar. The process of inoculating a tank involves re-hydrating yeast in hot water (104°) and then acclimating the yeast slowly by introducing the juice into the rehydrated yeast solution slowly. With every 10 minutes, we bring the yeast environment down 10° lower and slowly they adjust to their new environment.
After over an hour of acclimation, Holly and Kendall are about to introduce their rehydrated yeast into one of our Chardonnay tank from Carneros. The yeast will convert sugar to alcohol and turn our juice into delicious wine! I'm sure it will turn out to be a wonderful wine, made by these two, go girls!!!!