We have located the Lune Solaire winery in a guesthouse basement at 2Moon Ranch in the Sierra foothills overlooking the Sacramento Valley and Camp Far West Reservoir. The basement is mostly sub-grade and nearly faces due north. There are no requirements to air condition or heat the facility because it is below grade, gets no amount of direct sun year-round, and is facing away from and is fully protected against the general storm tracks in the winter. In the summer, the winery never reaches 80° F and in the winter it stays well above 55° F. The room itself has about 400 sq. ft. of floor space with a 7′ ceiling. In our estimation it could annually manage about 600 gallons of wine, meaning that it could house about 1,500 to 2000 gallons of wine at any one time.
For picking grapes at Cashel Vineyards, we have 102 25# picking crates that we pick into. Each crate can contain between 20 lbs. and 30 lbs. of grapes. Each crate is stackable such that the grapes aren’t smashed and then for storage, the crates can be nested to save area. For sourced grapes, at other vineyards, we have two 1/2 ton Maxi-Bins that get left the vineyard the night before picking.
After the grapes are brought to the winery, we sort using a custom made stainless steel, static, two-channel, sorting table that can accommodate 4 people sorting and can process a ton of grapes in about 90 minutes. From the sorting table, the grapes return to the crates and are stacked for the Destemmer/Crusher.
The original maker of the Destemmer/Crusher is unknown but according to the last owner, it was Nevada City Winery’s first Destemmer/Crusher and we acquired it from a home winemaker who said he bought it from Mark Foster at NCWE. We traded the home winemaker a quarter beef for it. With the addition of a larger motor scavenged from an old table saw, the de-stemmer/Crusher can process a ton of grapes in about 30 minutes. The grapes are either dumped into the hopper from the individual crates or pitch-forked in from the Maxi-Bins. The resulting must is mostly crushed berries skins, grape juice, and very little MOG or stems.
Our crush pad at Lune Solaire is uncovered and is currently 12′ X 24′ (roughly about 300 sq. ft.). We have plans to expand the crush pad itself before the 2019 harvest by another 1,200 sq. ft. for a total of 1,500 sq. ft. This addition will allow us plenty of room for handling incoming fruit, sorting, crushing, and cleaning without drainage and gravel worries. It will also give us room to ferment outside.
The winery at Lune Solaire has an extensive list of equipment for a “home” winemaking operation —
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The Lab consists of the following equipment:
- Hanna HI98191 pH/ORB/ISE Meter
- 10mL and 25mL Pipettes
- 25mL Burettes
- Set of precision Hydrometers (19-31, 12-20, 5-15, 0-9, -5-5)
- Field sugar refractometer
- Scale (precision 0.02g)
- Single and double staffed Lab Support Stands
- plastic Syringes
- Erlenmeyer flasks (multiple sizes from 10mL to 500mL)
- Straight Beakers (multiple sizes from 10mL to 500mL)
- Graduated Cylinders from (10mL to 250mL)
- Total Acidity
- Free and Bound SO2
We have a total of 16 barrels of different sizes, origin and cooperages:
- 2 60-gallon Re-Coop French oak barrels (2016 and 2017)
- 4 60-gallon Nadelie Tonnellerie French oak barrels (All 2019)
- 4 30-gallon Re-Coop French oak barrels (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017)
- 2 30-gallon AB Selection French oak barrels (both 2019)
- 2 30-gallon Barrels Unlimited, American oak barrels (both 2009)
- 1 15-gallon Re-Coop French oak barrel (2012)
- 1 15-gallon Barrels Unlimited, American oak barrel (2009)
We occasionally use oak chips to add a bit more oakiness to a wine but as a general rule avoid it and rely on moving the wine to newer barrels if we can.
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