Talks with Todd: Filtering the Wines

The Hawk Haven tasting room is not a bad place to work. We get to meet new people every day, they all come in with a smile on

Lou and Todd discussing the filtration process.
Lou and Todd discussing the filtration process.

their face (or if they don’t, we know they’ll be smiling after a few sips), and we’re surrounded by delicious, locally made, award winning wines. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to get out of the tasting room and check out what else is happening, and there’s always something to see. On weekends it’s the folks outside enjoying crepes and live music on the crush pad. During the week sometimes we’ll see Todd or one of his guys out in the vineyard. And since the other day I had such a fun and informative visit to our winery building while they were blending, I figured I would stop by again to see what Todd and Lou were up to. On this day’s agenda: filtration.

The wine pump moves the wine from the tank, through the filter, and into a new tank.
The wine pump moves the wine from the tank, through the filter, and into a new tank.

During filtration, the wine is pumped out of its tank and pushed through layers of pads in a process called “depth filtration.”  This process removes lees (dead yeast), tartrates, and other particles that might be hanging around in there. While I was there, they were pumping wine they had blended last week  through the filter and into another tank. Todd said the whole process can be a lot like a sliding puzzle, where you have one empty slot and you have to move all the pieces around to form the final picture. “You always have to have at least one empty tank, and it should be the biggest one.”

That seems like such a waste, doesn’t it? Those tanks are not cheap! But

Todd and the handy dandy filter.
Todd and the handy dandy filter.

when you have to pump 1,320 gallons of Riesling through a filter, you’re going to want to be able to put it into something that will hold it all. On this day they were filtering Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, QUILL, and a red blend that will be part of our new Flying Press series, all in preparation for bottling. Once bottled, we just have to wait until the wines get settled in their new homes, before it is finally time to move out of the bottle and into your glass.

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