Slow Days in the Cellar

“Wine Cellar” is a word loaded with connotation. Instantly, images of dank, moldy cellars hiding centuries old bottles leap to mind. In the next second, they’re contrasted by the swanky, fashionable closets where the rich and famous show off their expensive collectibles.

In so many cases, however, the wine cellar is a workplace. Neither a moldy museum nor a trophy case, people actually work there. But what do they do in these mystery rooms after the chaos of harvest? I took a slow, rainy day in Berkeley to find out at Donkey and Goat Winery.

On this very normal day, the task was “barreling down,” AKA moving wine from large steel tanks where it’s  been settling since fermentation ended, into small oak barrels for extended aging.


Syrah in a big tank goes…



Into a happy little barrel with the help of gravity.


Again, and Again, until you can ride barrels victoriously.


Just another day at work. Cheers!


  • November 13, 2014
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