Over the past few weeks winemakers Bill Sheffer and Kevin Sass have been walking the Halter Ranch staff through the new facility, sharing with us its inner workings and revolutionary tricks! Expect a few posts each week highlighting these innovations until we begin offering formal tours (fingers crossed for October!).
The east and west walls of the facility are modular and may be removed to allow for additional expansion in the future. The photo ave is taken from the center of the mezzanine above the tanks. The concrete for this platform was painstakingly sloped and footrailed so that all liquid flows into the floor drains rather than collecting or pooling in corners.It is unusual to see fitted concrete tank pads in the United States, this particular design is modeled after a few prominent wineries in Chile. Additionally, it is not common in California to skirt the bottom of each tank, the practice has been transplanted here from New Zealand and will contribute to the overall cleanliness of the facility.
In the photo above it is possible to see the screened hollow space beneath the left corner tank in this five ton row. This is one point of exit/collection for our C02 removal system. Co2 is a natural byproduct of fermentation and can (obviously) be dangerous to winery staff in large concentrations. It is standard to have a system of removal which trips when Co2 levels become too high. Typically such systems are mounted on the walls, Co2 tends to collect at floor level however, so in our winery we’ve built the system into the foundation. As Co2 builds up at floor level, our system kicks on and sucks it out beneath the tanks to be expelled from vents in the front retaining wall of the facility.