winery upgrades

Weather and Vineyard Construction

The changing weather patterns in our world, is causing construction companies to reevaluate how they build. Before, the need to have buildings that could withstand 100 + mile per hour winds was isolated to Southern Coastal locations. Even then, the number of storms with that magnitude were few and far between. Now, each hurricane season brings more and more storms that not only threatened the southern Atlantic region, but are also heading up the golf and to Louisiana and Texas. Whereas before construction companies would just recommend insurance for homeowners to Rally against such situations, now it is important for them to take on the burden of circumstances themselves. Vineyards are more prone to damage because of the fragile nature of the the grapevines.

vinyard barn damage

New construction needs to take in effect the change in the climate and the growing magnitude of each season’s storms. Insurance companies are also looking at these factors as well when deciding on offering coverage to a new or existing buildings and crop land. Especially with a new construction project, they want to make sure that every measure was taken to provide the safest structure possible before they will offer their services. They are taking on a Financial Risk and are not as likely to be a partner to such collaborations if the building’s Foundation is not sound. Because then it just becomes a matter of time before some devastation hits. All parties involved ; the owners, the construction company, and the insurance companies want to make sure they all safety measures have been put in place. Climate change comes in many forms. There is of course the Hurricanes that come out of the Atlantic and the Gulf that are looked at the most. But extreme winters can also destroy a vineyards yield.

insurance inspection

They bring wind damage and flooding that are the primary worry of the residents there. But the Midwest is also facing similar struggles. The number of tornadoes has risen sharply and the past decade. Tornadoes are fast and furious and can do untold amounts of damage in a very short period of time. With the frequency of these events increasing Builders want to make sure that they craftsmanship going into their structures is of the utmost quality. The days of rolling the dice with the weather are over, and the need for safety needs to be at the top of everyone’s list.

Equipment Safety

Machinery Monitoring

The close monitoring of all your buildings equipment is of the most importance. People take for granted the machines that they use everyday whether it be in an office or even on a construction site. Everyone feels that they are safe and working up to code, until something goes wrong. Most large companies have routine safety check lists which must be completed and signed off on. The sad thing is many of these procedures are done half-halfheartedly just to get it out of the way. That leaves everyone in the structure vulnerable to a wide number of safety problems. It only takes a few minutes to go over the manufacturers spec sheet and verify that all of the components or working properly. Many companies assign one specific person for this task, and budget the time and they’re weak for them to be completed properly. Let’s look at some of these potential issues and see how they could impact well being of your workflow and space. Now, this article has little to do with wineries, but every business runs offices and storage spaces, so information about equipment safety is always important.

machine inspection

One common machine mini large offices have is a laser printer. These are usually maintained by Xerox or Canon, so the people that use them don’t pay much attention to the status of the machine. Laser Printers can run it almost 300 degrees and have been known to catch on fire when there is excess paper left jammed in side. The main component that creates all of the heat is called a fuser. If a piece of paper gets stuck in the corner of this component under the right conditions could cause a fire. Most people make their copies and just walk away without making sure everything is okay before they leave. Most machines have heavy-duty cording which can become worn and leave wires exposed over a long period of time. Just one spark from exposed wiring could cause a serious fire as well as electrocute anyone who bumps up against it. It is crucial that every office building we’re working structure has proper lockout tagout equipment. These are tools that will secure a faulty machine and warn anyone against using it until it is repaired. The cord is put inside a heavy Fireproof bag and then locked shut.

printer troubleshooting

Therefore making it impossible to plug in and try to use. These bags are usually bright red or orange and have warning labels all over them. They should also have a tag that is signed by the person who placed it along with the information on why it is out of service. In our busy everyday lives we don’t think about things like this until something happens and someone gets hurt. So what is always best to make sure all your buildings equipment is up to code and is checked once a month.

winery upgrades

Upgrading an Older Vineyard


new vineyard construction

One of the most challenging things for vineyard owners to face is upgrading. They’ve used buildings and equipment that have been passed down from generations, but over time need replacing. Many of the old school wine makers were using the wooden vats to harvest their grapes. Even though they are thoroughly cleaned, residual product is still left in the wood which can mold and mildew overtime. In any wooden structure, cracks form along the slats, and expand over time. Since the wood is not treated, there is no way to avoid this kind of breakdown. The grapes get mashed into these grooves and even with the most thorough cleaning; will remain.

Naturally, any type of food products will mold when left over time. This can cause contamination in future product, and diminish the overall quality of the wine. The way to avoid this problem is to convert to steel or aluminum vats. These can be properly cleaned after every use with organic cleaners that will not taint the wine. The struggle that growers face with this is of course the cost. To have all of their old containers removed, and replaced with new ones, can be very expensive. Many put it off season after season, but in the long run they are only harming the quality of their product.

The second largest factor in upgrade challenges, is ventilation. The proper airflow through the entire facility is very important, and is something wineries often overlook. They are not aware of the buildup that collects in their current duct system. Since the day to day operations occupy most of their time, things of this nature are not properly addressed and can cause problems in the future. What happens is, dust and dirt from the processing collects in the air vents where it is trapped, and can cause blockages.

proper vineyard ventilation

During the fermentation process C02 gas is released, which is very dangerous to humans. Is of the utmost importance that the ventilation ducts are clear so that these gases can be drawn out efficiently. When the pipeline is clogged, the gas stays trapped and can cause a serious health hazard to everyone in the area. Many growers aren’t aware of how fast this buildup collects, so it is very important to have someone come out and check your system every six months. Many HVAC companies are happy to do this on a routine basis to make sure that your plant is running as clean as possible.

Pennsylvania wineries have really started to look at this issue very closely as there were some incidences that caused everyone to be on alert. There are companies in that area such as Horizon, Oliverheatcool, and S & S Heating and Air that were available to inspect these facilities for possible problems. During a routine call for Phoenixville heating repair S & S noticed an unusual odor coming from the vents. It was found that mold was growing in the system, which could cause bacteria to spread throughout the building. Never be afraid to ask your service provider to do a quick look around while they are there. They are happy to inspect the duct structure to alleviate any future worries.


What Makes a Good Vineyard

Let’s step back for a moment, and talk about the dynamics of a vineyard itself. Literally, from the ground up; soil is the most important component in a vineyard. Many want to be wine connoisseurs look at property development as far as landscape, accessibility, and price. One factor they often neglect is the quality of the soil. Most people take it for granted that soil in undeveloped areas is perfectly healthy. But that is not always the case. You will want to have someone from the Department of Agriculture come out and test your soil. Government agencies are a great source of services because they are unbiased and have no reason not to tell you the truth. Whereas a paid consultant, may color the results to receive your approval.

Another important aspect of soil analysis, is its water solubility. How well does it absorb water and how long does it retain that water. This will play an important factor when you are developing your irrigation system. Fine wine grapes require the proper amount of hydration so you want to make sure you set everything up perfectly. Once you know the soil is right for your purposes, you will want to develop an area for composting to keep your soil rich and nutritious for years to come.

vineyard irrigation

Similar to the subject of soil management, is proper pesticide use. Most new farmers are quick to jump at the cheaper chemicals without doing the proper research to understand their impact to the soil and plants. Natural pesticides and techniques are more expensive, but the quality of your crop is of the upmost importance. You do not want to produce a wine that has toxins or chemical byproducts transferring into the bottle. Even trace amounts can diminish the taste and the integrity of your brand.

Support plants are critical to the overall health of your farm. While many new growers have a tendency to tear out anything that is not a grape plant, that is a mistake. You want to have areas of regular plant life growing all throughout your vineyard. First of all, it brings in a large number of insects that will help keep the soil healthy and nutrient rich. As well as bring in a number of insect predators who will keep the harmful bugs at bay. They will literally naturally kill off all of the harmful bugs that could come to your vines. They will be welcome guests at your home.

The next post we’ll talk more about construction variations that go into a vineyard. But I just wanted to touch on a subject that many new buyers overlook. The soil is first and foremost critical to the overall health of your organization. Many are dazzled by the scenery, and the promise of healthy plants, but surprisingly overlook the nature of the ground itself.

Wine Tours

African Vineyards

south africa beaches

When most people think about traveling to Africa, they think about going on safari. Or, lounging on the white sand beaches soaking up the sun. It’s not the kind of place that people really think about when they think “fine wines”. With all the culture of the Pyramids in the groups of people that have made that continent famous, not many people come for the vineyards. Which is good if you’re connoisseur. If you go join the right time of the year there is practically no traffic, and you have all of the fantastic wine country to yourself.

One of the best places to visit first is Table Mountain. Nestled in nearby Cape Town, it has all the splendid beauty of the beaches and forests which make for a very romantic hideaway. The vineyards here are very old compared to some of the more modern layouts of the West. The history here is fascinating and there’s so much to learn in one visit through the fields. They keep with some of the more traditional equipment, shying away from more modern technology to hold onto their rustic heritage.

Table Mountain

One of the most amazing routes to take is through Wellington. This trip offers some of the best wine tasting you will ever come across. They pride themselves with sharing their crop with as many visitors as they can get. After the tasting is done for the day, they put out a huge spread of food for all who wish to stay and visit with the families that work there. It not only offers a chance to sample many fine wines, but gives visitors a feel of the people behind every vintage that goes into a bottle.

Even though many of these older farms fight to hold onto their tradition, they are slowly being forced to modernize in the name of health and safety. Much of the older equipment is faulty, and the materials in the vats are being found to create large amounts of mold which damages the wine. The wine farms of Stellenbosch are some of the first to bring builders and machinists on site to help improve their process. While the beautiful vintage wineries of South Africa are splendid to visit, they must keep up with the times to some extent to remain competitive in the market.

Wine Making

Brief History of Wine Making

Brief History of Wine Making

Ancient History

The consumption of wine dates back thousands of years, with an archaeological dig uncovering a winery in Armenia from around 4000 B.C! Of course, wine is also consumed religiously, especially as part of the Eucharist in memory of The Last Supper. The Greeks also celebrated wine production in the form of the god Dionysus. The concept of fermentation and preservation existed back then, and pine resin was used to protect and prolong the life of wine. This is now known as “retsina”, and is still commercially produced in Greece.

Mediaeval Times

Wine production flourished in Lebanon during medieval times, as it did in Southern European regions, especially France. As it was so commonplace, it was a drink enjoyed by people of all classes. However, the weather in the North, as today, was not as conducive to winemaking. Back then though, transport was infinitely less-developed, meaning that wine was only drunk by the upper classes in the North of Europe. However, it was also the first time that wine could be produced in England, as water treatment had developed to the point where the water was drinkable. Monks It was during this time that a large amount of wine production was taken on by Benedictine and Cistercian monks. Monks acquired a lot of fertile land and produced food and drink not only to be sustainable, but also to attract more monks to their land and to be able to offer exceptional hospitality. Mead production was also far more widespread, as it just involved adding honey to the wine.  Here is a look at wine in medieval times and what it tasted like.

The Game Changes

As transport links were established in the 18th and 19th centuries, wine regions in France in particular were able to export their wines to Spain, Portugal and the UK as well as further afield. Wineries were privatised, and a range of laws relating to production, usage of regional names and grape quality certification were established, turning wine production in to big business. Across the Atlantic, the California Gold Rush brought huge economic growth to the United States, but also vines from around the world – most notably the Croatian Zinfandel grape. In South America, the Spanish conquistadors brought winemaking with them, and the weather and soil proved to be exceptional for wine production.

Modern Times

Nowadays, vines have been transported all over the world, largely meaning that the origin of a grape is unimportant. Malbec, a grape from France, is probably most famous in Argentina. The aforementioned Zinfandel is associated with California, and the Syrah grape, also known as Shiraz, is associated with South Africa and Australia amongst other countries. Wine is imported and exported all over the world, but the majority still comes from France, where the monks first settled. Wine production is currently worth an estimated 12 billion Euros a year to France!

Wine Tours

Take a Fall Wine Tour in Napa Valley

Take a Fall Wine Tour in Napa Valley

Oenophile,  are you? If you nod a yes then Napa Valley is your place. Take a tour to Napa wineries this vacation and experience nature at its best. Here you can experience beautiful lush green wineries with the array of colours. So drive along the road side of Napa valley and relax your muscles with this natural therapy with the aroma of fresh grapes.

Napa Valley is a paradise for every wine lover and once you visit this heaven on earth there will be no better place for vacation as every now and then you will crave that aroma of freshly blended grapes served in a glass for you. Moreover if you want to experience that elegant feel of siting beside a window holding a wine glass in a antique looking interior then Napa Valley has a surprise for you.

Here they provide a train service which was established in the late 80s specially for the wine lovers so they can get you a tour around the Napa Valley and taste one of the finest wines that the valley serves. And if you feel that this is old school then there car rental options available here at the valley so you can also drive along the road side and experience the wineries

A best vacation is a planned vacation so I have listed few wineries below

1. V. Sautti winery : you do not need a appointment to visit this most beautiful and certainly the most visited winery. It is open 7 days of a week . Summer timings here are 9a.m-6p.m and winter timings are 9a.m-5p.m.

2 Darioush winery : owned by Iranian immigrant to U.S this Winery serves some of the great wines with best snacks along with a very friendly staff.

3. Castillo di Amorosa : it is 13th century tuscan castle so if you want to experience what it felt like to be a blue blood and sit into those big castles and taste some expensive looking wine then Castello di amorosa is the best place. Visit this place and feel the essence of being a lord.

4. Inglenook winery : another beautiful winery in Napa valley owned by a family. Here you can experience that family bond to save yourself some good moral values and of course some good wine too.

5. Domaine Carneros : as you drive along the Napa valley this the another beautiful Winery that you will come across.
To make your weekend more exciting I have listed some good wines below

  1. Opus one
  2. Rubicon
  3. Dominus

So this weekend hop into a car along with your gang and experience what nature has in store for you in the Napa Valley