Whalebone Winery, located on the western fringe of Paso Robles Willow Creek District, cultivates 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines that flourish in soil enriched with calcareous limestone. This distinctive terroir nurtures the manufacturing of flavor-forward wines from their dry-farmed vines. The hillside winery, perched at an elevation of 1800 toes above sea degree, holds a captivating secret — it was a submerged ocean ground hundreds of thousands of years in the past, through the Miocene age. This historic historical past left behind considerable marine fossils unearthed by the Simpson household when planting the winery in 1989.
Winemaker Jake Simpson explains the significance of the intriguing discovery: “Once we gathered across the eating room desk to call the vineyard, my dad determined we needed to title it after the massive boulders exterior our tasting room, that are 30-million-year-old whale fossils.”
Simpson assumed the position of winemaker three years in the past, taking the reins of the family-run vineyard based by his mother and father, Bob and Janalyn Simpson. Their manufacturing sometimes yields round 4000 instances of wine yearly, sourced from the property and neighboring vineyards. Simpson acquired his winemaking information via years of hands-on involvement on the vineyard and recommendation from seasoned Paso Robles winemaker Joe Farley.
One of many first duties Simpson and his father undertook was researching steamers, which he had used at different services, together with Hearst Ranch Vineyard, the place Whalebone Winery does a few of its manufacturing. Reflecting on this choice, Simpson remarks, “We’d by no means had a steamer,” and additional elaborates, It’s the very first thing on everybody’s checklist for cleanliness. We used ozone and a strain sprayer to scrub our barrels earlier than, and I couldn’t consider how a lot got here out of the barrel once I used the steamer on barrels I assumed have been already clear.”
Their analysis led them to the Optima Steamer, a product provided by Steamericas, a number one provider of economic and industrial cleansing options specializing in vapor steam machines. Their alternative was solidified once they discovered that Williams Cleansing Methods, Central Coast distributor for Steamericas, had simply opened a close-by showroom in San Luis Obispo, making certain accessibility and assist. Simpson’s father referred to as Normal Supervisor Phil Petty, and Whalebone Winery acquired an Optima Steamer SE-II.
Simpson believes that “In the long term, cleanliness is essential” and, after two years of standard use, has come to understand how Optima’s Optima Steamer SEII’s dry steam removes tannins from the barrels, leading to a good higher completed product.
“Previous sediment and lees that construct up within the barrel can promote bacterial progress,” he elaborates, “which implies extra upkeep of the wine within the barrel. A clear barrel makes for a clear palate, so that you don’t need to verify acid and Ph ranges as typically.”
Harnessing steam temperatures of as much as 350°F, the Optima Steamer achieves nozzle tip temperatures of 212-240°F, permitting for swift and efficient inactivation of microorganisms. Steam has been confirmed to be a potent ally towards micro organism, yeast, and fungi, successfully stopping spoilage.
Drawing from his expertise at Williams Cleansing, Petty underscores the Optima Steamer’s versatility, highlighting its twin position as each a extremely efficient cleansing instrument and a disinfectant. He notes, “85% of wineries transfer to steamers straight from flooding their barrels, in order that they typically don’t understand the Optima Steamer’s versatility.” This multifaceted functionality extends to numerous vineyard elements, from instruments and valves to telephones, bottles, and even upholstery, a testomony to its distinctive efficiency and effectivity.
Set up of the Optima Steamer SE-II was a seamless course of for Simpson, facilitated by Petty’s professional steering. Simpson remembers that “Phil introduced it to the vineyard and confirmed me tips on how to warmth it, modify it for dry warmth, and different operations in 15-20 minutes” With the steamer in place, as he places it, “Away I went!”
The Optima Steamer SE-II’s effectivity is one in all its most vital benefits. Whalebone Winery’s water and ozone consumption has dropped from 10 gallons to 1-2 gallons per barrel, translating to value financial savings and eliminating hazardous ozone utilization. By means of its distinctive capability to mix rehydration with sanitization, the Optima Steamer safeguards the integrity of barrels and promotes longevity by penetrating the wooden’s floor and pores, reaching ¼’-½” into the wooden to let the recent moisture eradicate hidden micro organism naturally.
The steamer’s advantages additionally lengthen to time financial savings since Simpson now not has to carry a strain washer whereas spraying all 10 gallons of water into the barrel. As a substitute, it takes solely three minutes per barrel with the steamer, and he may even plug it within the barrels’ bung and depart to do one other process. With over 120 barrels, that’s plenty of time saved.
The Optima additionally affords a patent-pending Wine Barrel Cleansing Device that mounts to a normal Bordeaux barrel to make sure efficient and environment friendly steam supply and allow exact sanitation monitoring with its heavy-duty thermometer.
With one other harvest developing, albeit one delayed by near a month due to the late summer time, Simpson is captivated with placing his Optima Steamer SE-II to work making ready the barrels and cellar for a brand new classic of Whalebone Winery Bordeaux-style wines.
For extra data on Optima Steamers, contact Phil Petty at Williams Cleansing Methods at (805) 550-0063 or P.Petty@wcsCentralCoast.com.