With all growth comes further investment and at Sainte Rose we have significant plans for improvements in our winery prior to the 2013 vintage. Having grown significantly in 2012, processing more fruit in our winery than ever before, we have to make some changes and improvements in order to handle these larger volumes. This is a very positive step for Sainte Rose, but an expensive one, especially in the current economic climate. There are European grants available for a portion of this work however even if our dossier is accepted, nothing would be payable prior to the work starting!
First of all we need more useable tank space. For most people this means more stainless steel, however we are running out of places to put stainless steel tanks. What we do have are 3 rows of huge concrete tanks that up until now we have not needed to use. Most of these tanks are currently far too big for us to use for vinification as we prefer to vinify in small lots and keep all the grape varieties separate until such time as we want to blend. They are also unlined and impossible to keep clean. These concrete tanks however can be split into smaller sizes, lined with epoxy resin and have new stainless steel doors, valves and chimneys installed so that they can be kept as spotlessly clean as steel tanks. We have already done this to 2 other large concrete tanks in the main section of the winery, creating 4 tanks out of 2 so it is a process we have already benefitted from. In this latest project we will be dividing another one of these large tanks into two, plus re-lining and renovating two of the larger tanks to use as winter storage for wine that is finished and awaiting bottling.
Secondly we will be increasing the amount of stainless steel in the winery but not in tank form! We are installing large fixed stainless steel pipes that will be used when de-cuving red vinification tanks during the vintage, which will be much more secure than the current huge flexible hoses that we use. It will also be safer as the flexible hoses weigh a ton and become incredibly unwieldy to manoeuvre around the winery, especially when full of berries!
Safety is also at the heart of the third improvement in the winery as we will be installing additional catwalks, safety barriers and steps that are intended to reduce any potential physical risks in the winery. This is especially important during the busy vintage period, when tensions are high.
Work begins shortly – photos will follow!