We work in a small space, really small. Every move inside the winery has to be planned out and I can only have a few barrels in process at any time. It takes a lot of planning to pull things off especially during bottling. One big problem is what to do with single barrels of a wine. Normally barrels move around two at a time. We have three single barrel racks and that’s the first option.
The second option is to have one full barrel and one empty on the same rack. In our space though there’s usually only enough room to pick up a rack from one direction, so even though you can pick up a rack from either direction, in our space we end up with a front and back of the rack. In that situation the full barrel has to be in the front or the rack will tip over when picked up. I work hard and try to plan things well so that the full barrel is always on the front.
Sometimes though we end up with a full barrel on the back of a rack. When that happens there’s only one option. Someone has to go cowboy on the barrel. We ended up with a few of those situations this past bottling and Stefania had to jump on the empty barrel to give enough counter weight to lift the rack. I snapped this picture that I thought was funny given the ‘No Riding’ warning on Big Joe.