Deep Winemaking; Focus on Cellar Practices (August 1-3rd, 2019)

Inside Winemaking Cabernet Extraction .JPG
Inside Winemaking Cabernet Extraction .JPG

Deep Winemaking; Focus on Cellar Practices (August 1-3rd, 2019)


This is access to a diverse array of wineries in the Napa Valley created for those who are interested in fast-tracking their understanding of practical winemaking.  The three-day immersion will begin on Thursday morning August 1st and conclude Saturday evening the 3rd after dinner.   Plan to arrive Wednesday, as our first appointment is at 8:00AM on Thursday morning.  This Deep Winemaking trip will be focused on cellar practices and include the majority of Thursday spent in a commercial winery learning the basics of winery equipment. We will walk through the use of pumps, hoses, barrels, tanks, valves, inert gases and actually perform wine transfers. Friday and Saturday’s itinerary will include visits to vineyards, wineries, barrel cooperages, as well as lunch and dinner.  Thursday and Friday nights will include blind wine tastings before dinner, of which one will be an exploration of Chardonnay and a winemaker’s style objectives, while the other will be red wine from Bordeaux varietals including wines from California, Washington, and Bordeaux.  Saturday will commence at Seavey Vineyard with grape sampling in the vineyard, processing juice samples, then tasting and analyzing the components in the lab.  After lunch we will then switch over to 2018 wines and have a guided blending seminar which participants will taste through and explore the process of creating a commercial Cabernet blend.  

My objective in putting together this immersive experience is to provide an exhaustive exposure to the technical aspects of professional winemaking.  I expect participants to come away from the weekend having a high level of confidence in:

  • Critically evaluating grapes and juice

  • Understanding the manipulation of vine canopies and the downstream effects on wine flavor

  • Making appropriate harvest processing decisions to achieve specific wine styles

  • Selecting and working with oak barrels

  • Choosing winery equipment appropriate for a given size and set of objectives

  • Understanding which basic chemical analyses are appropriate at each step of winemaking

  • Sensory evaluation of finished wines

  • Creating a framework for successful blending

  • Recognizing wine flaws

Participants will need to provide their own transportation to Napa and accommodations.  Transportation for this experience's activities will be provided. I recommend that people stay at the Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham Napa Valley, which will be our meeting site each morning. You don’t have to stay here, but need to get here by 8AM each morning.

Deep Winemaking combines serious winemaking and a lot of fun with a group of other motivated nascent winemakers.  A more detailed itinerary will be provided to participants before the event.  

Full refund available until June 30, 2019.  After that date cancellation will result in a refund less a $200.00 placement charge.  

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Only eight spots are available, on a first-come basis. If you need to make two payments, please contact me at