A 2020 Cab Franc journey with fellow WMT member

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NorCal

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In one of @crushday ’s posts, he mentioned that he drove to 10 hours to Livermore CA to pick up juice buckets. I think crushday’s posts are some of the best, always enthusiastic and frequently include pictures. I was impressed with the dedication to his winemaking and thought if he would drive 10 hours for juice buckets, why not 11 hours for some fresh, commercial quality grapes?

I help manage a 20 acre vineyard for our community and threw out the offer For Cab Franc and we’ve been chatting since. It looks like it’s going to come together. I thought it would be a fun thread to chronicle this year‘s journey and I asked crushday if he would mind, so I started this thread.

This will be my 6th vintage of Cab Franc. My plan is to use it as a blender this year in a Merlot heavy Bordeaux blend. I will get 300-500 pounds, enough for 20-30 gallons. The plan is to have the grapes harvested together at night, run the grapes through my destemmer first thing in the morning and crushday makes the trek back home.

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Kraffty

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Following too. Where are you headed for the pick up? I'm considering a run to Fresno for grapes this year but having a hard time convincing myself to do it. Approx 11 hours each way.
Go get um.....
 

crushday

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@Kraffty I'm headed to Metro Sacramento from Seattle Metro - 11 hours each way. Come on! September road trip!!
 

Kraffty

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Got nothing else to do right? you drive another 1.5 hours south and I'll drive another 1.5 hours north and we can have lunch at A&W or dairy queen in beautiful downtown Modesto........ 🤣
 

NorCal

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We sell out almost every year to local wineries. This year we've had a few wineries not order due to the drop in tasting room sales. The price will be $.50-$.75 per pound (haven't locked down pricing yet), harvested in your bin. There will be plenty of gapes available.
 

Boatboy24

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We sell out almost every year to local wineries. This year we've had a few wineries not order due to the drop in tasting room sales. The price will be $.50-$.75 per pound (haven't locked down pricing yet), harvested in your bin. There will be plenty of gapes available.
At those prices, it's almost worth me driving from here! :D
 

CDrew

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I am hoping to get 1/2 ton of these grapes too. Going to share with 2 other winemakers, and for one of them it will be his first wine ever. He's a new guy at my work. Coming up a bit short in the Macrobin department though. Is that going to be a problem? If they can be picked into one of those macrobins, then crushed and after crush into the usual Brutes for transport home?

I'd also like to put the grapes through your Crusher/Stemmer if that's an option, and will try and coordinate when you are crushing too. It would be fun to meet @crushday as well. Thinking about the road trip back to Seattle-You'll run that at night I assume to keep things cool?

I thought macrobins would be more available on Craigslist, but so far, no bueno. I keep looking and maybe 1 will come up.

Your merlot row is looking great! Looking forward to harvest and Vintage 2020.
 

crushday

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It will great to meet you too, @CDrew! I’ve been considering how to get home. Dry ice? My truck has a built in inverter so I could bring a chest freezer but I don’t have one. I think maybe I could get one of those rent to own places and return it after a week.

Going to be a blast!
 

NorCal

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The plan is to have the crew harvest at night, so the grapes are available by 9am. I have a few macro bins, so if you can’t find one, I should be able to cover you. Hopefully I won’t have my Merlot fermenting at that time. I’ll have my destemmer/crusher available after we weigh the grapes out. We will definitely need to swap some wine, so bring some bottles.
 

CDrew

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We will definitely need to swap some wine, so bring some bottles.
Will do, that's the best part. I'll have plenty of Brutes to transport and maybe a Macrobin depending on what comes up.

To get back to Seattle, that's a 12 hour drive or so, so leave at 6pm, home by 6 am. Easy. Dry ice works really well for transport. Dump in 10 pounds and it will stay acceptable all the way home, driving at night. Take extra in a cooler to add more part way through. But driving up the I-5 in daytime risks some really hot temps, so you'll want to mitigate that. Either with Dry ice, or enclosed in some way. I think I'd just drive in the dark.
 

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