Oscar and Dragon last Spring.
Two years ago this month Oscar, our two year old semi-feral cat, began hanging around our previous house. Dragon, our original cat, didn’t seem to mind her presence and we witnessed them frolicking in the yard together, standing at the back door together, etc. It was a no brainer to welcome her into our household that Autumn. But we discovered a small problem with both Hubby and I being gone so much for our respective harvest work this year; there is a neighborhood cat coming into the house via the pet doors we are so happy our two kitties use! Rudy, we were able to get close enough to read on his heart-shaped tag, is a beautiful, charming cat that also has a bell on his collar. He has taken to hanging out in our garage, coming into the laundry room through the pet door and consuming the food we have out for our two feline. He has learned that walking slowly with his head down keeps his bell from ringing. But I would think it is difficult for him to hunt successfully moving as slowly has he does to remain quiet.
Rudy, our unwelcome feline guest.
We have hardly seen the three cats in the same place, so it was difficult to tell how the three were getting on. A couple of days ago I realized Oscar was coming to the back door rather than using the pet doors again. Dragon has only been going outside when I have gone out to water plants and check on the newest plants rather than spending time outside on his own. Today, my first full day at home in ages, Dragon sat in the hallway meowing in a distinctly different call than I have ever heard in his 8+ years – I found Rudy in the laundry room in front of him.
This evening, as I cooked dinner for the first time in months, my wonderfully supportive husband (he has been the chef in the house for the last few months) opened the back door for Dragon to go outside. Rudy was on the other side of the door and attacked, hissing and spitting with claws out as soon as Dragon crossed the threshold! Smart cat, Dragon backed into the house again and Rudy was chased by us two-legged giants from the property. Reassured, Dragon went outside and has been enjoying the mild October evening knowing his territory is his own for the time being. Oscar seemed to realize the interloper was not around and came into the house a few minutes later. She was quite loving and social, chatting and eating before crashing on our bed.
Tomorrow we are both at work all day again, but my work schedule will be loosening up after that. Rudy best beware, his presence will not be tolerated any longer. I did ask a neighbor if she knew him; apparently he is quite an adventurous feline as she tells it. I wonder if his family knows of his exploits.
Posted in Cat, Pets
Tagged 2014 Crush, cats
LED headlamp for barrel filling and cleaning equipment after dark!
As the temperatures drop and the days shrink, we still have Barbera and Primitivo to bring into Locati Cellars; Barbera is anticipated this coming Wednesday. Although we know there isn’t as much Barbera as there was Sangiovese (that would have been 20.1 tons two weeks ago) we aren’t sure what time the fruit will come into the winery making it difficult to predict when we will be cleaning up. The large light that fills the parking area and illuminates the front of another building completely misses the crush pad. Today, on a quick trip to Costco with the aim of picking up cat food for our resident feline, we passed a display of LED headlamps right by the large screen tv’s and stereos. The photos showed fit bicyclists, a runner and a guy in a garage peering into a machine (car?). But I wouldn’t be caught running by day, never mind by night, and I don’t think biking at night will be something I have to consider… filling barrels, cleaning the press and crusher after dark and a myriad of other uses came to me in an instant. My partner in wine had similar thoughts, grinning as I grabbed one of the two packs before we navigated to the cat food at the far corner of the store.
Now one of the two headlamps resides in the garage where it will be useful for rare trips into the attic, under the house and while putzing on various vehicles. The other is going into my bag to go with me to work for the above mentioned uses. During the spring and summer there will be camping trips to exciting places and in the garden for slug hunting expeditions (gross but necessary) to reduce the numbers of these slimy pests.
A few photos for you to consider…
Free run wine
A helpful lady beetle
Pumpkin harvest too
When you face a day that seems to require double the 24 hours allotted just to get through what needs to be done a little good news goes a long way; Friday was such a day.
Two wineries, at opposite ends of Walla Walla, requiring action for fruit that was already in or coming in. I was taking care of Locati Cellars punch downs, all of the Sangiovese that had come in on Tuesday then driving across town to help him press Syrah and crush Pinot Noir in between. The punching down of the sixteen bins took a while, the drive each way took a while and I ended up being very little help for Lagana Cellars that day. Later in the afternoon, when I was stomping a bin of whole cluster Pinot Noir grapes, Jason was made aware of the November 2014 edition of Wine Enthusiast’s Best Buy section for Washington Whites containing both his 2013 Sagemoor Riesling (page 192) and 2013 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc (page 193)!
Lagana Cellars has been in business for about 18 months; 2013 was his first vintage. The two 2013 red wines he has are still in barrel; the only two wines he has bottled are on this list! Jason graduated from the WWCC EV; program that I am presently working on. During his time at College Cellars he helped make award-winning wines; looks like the lessons were learned well. Congratulations, Jason and best wishes for many more accolades to come!
Lagana Cellars 2013 Sagemoor Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc wines are ‘Best Buy’ wines in Wine Enthusiast November 2014!
Locati Cellars is a small winery, we do the best we can with what we have – but some days we are smoking’ hot! The new crusher/destemmer, a couple of forklifts, Jason, Pam & I accomplished this very task. The results:
20.2 tons of Mission Hills Estate Vineyard Sangiovese in 14 bins crushed in 11.5 Hours.
Dolcetto with gas bubbles from the yeast consuming the sugars below the cap.
It is the first week of October, my Autumn decorations are out and we have mid-80’s temperatures during the day early this week; excellent weather for Harvest.
Now that we have the first of the red grapes crushed we have to monitor them frequently and push the solid part back into the juice to extract the lovely color, aromas & flavors – we have to do ‘punch downs’. The Dolcetto we have has a pretty dense cap:
The cap goes from the light top of the photo to the juice at the bottom.
There are other methods to ensure contact between the juice and the solids, but we only use punch downs. You tube already has lots of videos on doing punch downs and various other methods for the curious. All of wine making seems to require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and for those that do their own sampling in the vineyard hiking. Several of my peers and I have dubbed Crush, ‘Body by Wine’. It is a satisfying workout, and the results of the effort are worth it!
Punch down tool; where there is foam the punch down has been completed.
Punch down tool in action.
Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, just over two tons in the house!
This morning just over two tons of Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon came into the Locati Cellars winery. Jason and I got on it right away; it took longer to clean the machine than it did to crush the fruit. But beautiful fruit it was, clean with minimal leaves to pick out.
Inside the destemmer; from the top hopper, the clusters come down the far side, the grapes fall through the holes and the stems get caught up and pushed out of the end I am looking into.
Through the destemmer and crusher, into the fermenting bin.
Last of the Riesling is pressed and fermenting; whites are all in-house for 2014.
Minnick Syrah, Lagana Cellars first red of 2014.
September is behind us, Saturday we brought in the last of this year’s white grapes; just over a ton of Riesling from Dionysus Vineyard north of Pasco. Rose’ and whites in-house is a major hurdle for us, that is over half of the Lagana Cellars and about a quarter of the Locati Cellars fruit.
Tuesday, with the typical delays and hiccups, we brought in 1.3 tons of Dolcetto at Locati Cellars and 3.7 tons of Syrah at Lagana Cellars. Syrah has such nice coloring I had to take a few fun photos as we went along:
Stomping whole cluster Syrah, great way to finish the first day of reds.
Syrah grapes in the destemmer/crusher.
The Dolcetto was such a rush knowing we had to cross town to do the Syrah next that I didn’t take my phone up on the ladder with me when we ran the destemmer/crusher at Locati Cellars.
Syrah stems, festive looking, like we celebrated the first reds of 2014 coming in today.
So many photos on Facebook show other local wineries stomping/crushing Syrah today; excited as we ramp things up a notch or two. It brings our small facilities. with just a few of us, into the whole local wine picture. We were in fantastic company from what I could see! Walla Walla is more than wine, but during Crush, it is hard to see much else when you are in the industry.