With it being Friday the 13th, we asked some of our winemakers if they have any superstitions or rituals around their wineries. We were surprised and delighted to hear Shauna Rosenblum’s from Rock Wall Wines in Alameda:
“From the moment the grapes enter the building I begin talking to them. I welcome them to their new home and wish them well on their journey into wine. I thank them for being healthy and promise to take care of them from then on.
When I inoculate with the yeast, I always talk to the “yeasties.” Yeast are living creatures, so I only allow ‘good vibes’ around them. My cellar guys know that while I’m mixing up yeast, they are not to talk to me about anything, unless it’s completely positive. All good moods around the yeasties make happy yeast, which make thriving yeast, which make healthy fermentations.
When I introduce the yeast to the macrobins, I pour them in the shape of a large swirl that starts in the middle and emanates outward. This represents wholeness, tenacity, and consistency which are all important for a healthy fermentation.
Once the wines are finished and they are ready to bottle, at bottling, I go to the top of the tank being bottled and wish each wine a very Happy Birthday, and tell her how much I love her, and how I wish that she makes everyone who drinks her as happy as she makes me. I refer to all wines as female, except Petite Sirah’s which are so massive, I call them my handsome boys.
Yes, I do all of the above to all 63 lots that enter the winery to become wine. I do truly love them.”