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Once a year, David Fulton Winery gathers their friends and family, and everyone comes along to hand sort their year’s harvest.

This year, it happened on Saturday, October 3, 2o09. As one of my daughters watched this video, she asked, “People are actually willing to just jump in and do assembly line labor like this for free?” We reminded her that there are wineries who have people pay big bucks to do just that.

It was a long day, filled with MOG (material other than grapes), removing the raisins (into a port-to-be bin) , and lots of comraderie.

Here’s the video taken by Jose Diaz, in between sorting and dumping the grapes onto the conveyor belt from the small bins in which they had been placed, after they had been hand picked.

If  you ever read that David Fulton wines are handcrafted, believe it. Here’s the skinny:

  • 2009 David Fulton Petite Sirah
  • Harvested on October 3, 2009
  • About 5-tons were sorted and headed toward the fermentation tank
  • Another half ton is headed toward Port making
  • All MOG removed
    • many black widow spiders
    • lots of other spiders
    • grasshoppers
    • leaves, stems, rocks ~ only a few rocks fell into the grape bins
    • dried out raisins
    • grapes with bunch rot, only  a few ~ there had been a bit of rain, and a few clusters didn’t dry out
    • grapes which looked like some funky disease was taking over ~ only a few of those
  • The grapes were gently destemmed

Remember, if this wasn’t a hand sorted situation, you’d be enjoying all of this MOG as part of the wine making process.

With David Fulton, this won’t happen. In bulk wine? You betcha!

Enjoy how this all works… the process has been filmed in a backward sequence. You’re first seeing the berries being sorted after they’ve been destemmed, then Jose photographs the beginning, where grapes are poured onto the belt for the initial inspection and sorting.