Punchin' Down Pinot Noir at Okanagan Crush Pad with Winemaker Matt Dumayne
My visit to Okanagan Crush Pad yesterday was "aerobic" with the ferments - punchin' down with Winemaker Matt Dumayne and Operations Manager Julian Scholefield on the iPhone camera. I LOVE this time of year, and pinot noir, and most varietals treated right, and there isn't a more fun and rewarding place (for a wine enthusiast) to spend some time than Okanagan Crush Pad, on the Bottleneck Drive Wine Route which fortunately for me is a gorgeous walk from my home in Summerland up to Fosbery Road. I am especially delighted that even if for only a couple of "punches down" I can relish the fact that I had my hand in a Haywire Wine with Pinot Noir. Here I'm sharing the little vid made yesterday during the Pinot Noir crush. Below the video window, I share the definition of Punch Down (the meaning from the perspective of the wine lexicon)
Punch Down: In order to maintain a balanced exposure of oxygen and to dissipate heat (which can kill the ferment) of the entire batch of grape must that is being fermented in the fermentation vessel, thecellar hand (in the video that's me) plunges the top grapes called the cap to the bottom of the vat which forces the lower grapes to the surface for the necessary oxygen exposure and release of trapped heat. This process also has to do with the colour of the wine, which comes from the tannins. A proper punch down should be rather delicate (or more aptly, to the winemakers specific timing and direction) so as not to release too many of the tannins and the more astringent elements of the skin.
After my arduous work punching down, Winemaker Matt let me in on his secret… Behind me a fully motorized high tech punch down arm hung from the rafters. Thanks for the work out Matt :P
by Tarynn Liv Parker
Editor, The Field Guide