So a year or so later, we made another trip to Sonoma County with one of the couples Butch and Lisa Darnell who had been on the first wine-blur tour. Randomly we found ourselves in the tasting room at Christopher Creek Winery http://www.christophercreek.com.
At the end of the tasting, we asked for a recommendation for our next stop. They called Acorn Winery http://acornwinery.com and luckily they had an opening. So off we went… Had a wonderful tasting and walk in the vineyard with Betsy Nachbaur proprietor of Acorn Winery. When visiting the Russian River area, make sure to visit Acorn and Allegria Vineyards. The tasting and walk in the vineyard are a unique experience you will not want to miss.
When we returned from our walk in the vineyard, Betsy started to explain the fermentation that was taking place in a couple of T-bins in the winery. It just so happened that the caps needed to be punched down. During the fermentation of red wine, the skins form a “cap” that floats on the liquid and needs to be kept moist and in contact with the juice. A punch down tool is used to break up the cap. Being a bit more vertically “gifted” and enthusiastic about learning more, I offered to do the punch downs. So I put on the apron, grabbed the punch down tool and got to work.
Now this is the turning point when my obsession took over… As I was doing the punch downs, I asked Betsy if she would take volunteers for harvest. I suspect she gets this a lot and graciously agreed. She asked that we contact her the following year before harvest to arrange the details. I have never asked Betsy if she really expected that I would contact her. Anyway, so off we went back to our “normal” life in Houston. I started to count the days until harvest the next year.