More harvest know-how continues in my posts this month along with other vineyard and cellar matters. Today I am talking about the ‘leftovers’ of harvest: stems, pomace and lees.
Stems are the first to go once grapes have arrived at the crush pad. The destemming happens before the grapes are transferred to fermentation tanks. The stems at Pedroncelli are used as erosion control along the vineyard avenues.
Pomace is the name for the skins and seeds left from either white wine production when they are removed by pressing the berries before fermentation or red wine production when they are fermented with the juice to extract flavor and color. Once through the press the pomace is transferred to an area on our vineyard where it will be tarped for one year and then used to add nutrients to the vineyard.
Lees are what is left from fermentation in both white and red wine production. The dregs of the tanks or barrels are filtered out so your glass of wine isn’t cloudy or gunky. These cakes of dead yeast cells are composted. Sometimes we don’t filter the lees right away when, for instance, a small lot of our F. Johnson Vineyard Chardonnay is barrel fermented and the lees are kept in barrel for seven months of aging and the lees are stirred to give the wine more complexity.
(I found this photo of a barrel section with lees at the bottom before filtering.)
A splash of F. Johnson Vineyard Chardonnay in my Dino to celebrate harvest leftovers.