Saturday, July 14, 2012

A new friend joins the Aaronap Cellars ranks

In the midst of architect designs, regulatory filings, bottling, and basement clearing, I decided that I needed a new barrel.  Wasn't originally planning on purchasing a new barrel before starting to make commercial wine, but I ran into reality when I became aware that all of my current barrels were going to be full for at least 9 months and I still had wine in the tanks in acute need of removal.  So, I purchased a 26-gallon Hungarian oak barrel from Vadai Wine Barrels primarily to store the 2011 Syrah.

The barrel arrived in excellent condition on Thursday this week.  This afternoon, I ventured into the heat of the garage to build a wheeled barrel dolly.  I've built similar dollies for all of my barrels so that I can move them around the basement freely.  Sure beats having them stuck in one position and wrangling hoses across the floor between the barrel & pump/filter/bottler/etc.  I used some old cedar wedges as barrel holders and to make the carrier easier to build.

After completing the carrier, I started to hydrate the barrel with boiling water.  So far, the heads don't seem to be leaking and the staves seem to be soaking up the hot water for swelling.  Later this evening, I'll fill it completely and allow it to swell for a couple of days.  Barring any leaks, I should be able to fill it with wine on Tuesday evening.

I do have to say that the barrel looks quite happy and at home on it's dolly.  For some reason, it's speaking to me that it's name should be "Millie".  No idea why, but that's the feeling I'm getting.  So say hello to Millie--the latest member of the Aaronap Cellars team.


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