The Eagle Has Landed, Again

Ponte Family Estate is one of the only vineyards in Temecula Wine Country that grows, harvests, makes and bottles the majority of our wine right here on the property. Winemaker Mark Schabel wouldn’t have it any other way.   He’s constantly looking for the most innovative ways to go from grape-to-glass and deliver lovely, balanced and delicious wine to our guests.  That’s why Mark was so excited about our shiny new arrival, the Ganymede tank.   It came by train, by truck, and, finally, by air lift. Yes,  it’s just a tank to you and me, but to Mark, it was like giving birth to a second son (he got his first Ganymede tank last year). State-of-the-art equipment such as the new Ganymede helps us ferment our grapes more efficiently at the peak of ripeness,  improving the quality of wine by the time  you pour and enjoy.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Ganymede tank number 2.

Here’s how Mark would explain how his new gadget works:  during red wine fermentation, a “cap,” which is the grapes, seeds and stems, that rise to the top of the grape juice, will form.  In order to extract the character we are looking for, we need to mix the tank.  In previous years we would drain wine from the bottom of the tank and pump it over the top of the cap.  The Ganymede tank has an internal funnel-shaped structure which captures the CO2 and when valves are opened, the CO2 displaces wine across the cap so that we can extract the precise character from the cap.  This innovative tank saves us electricity and achieves the extraction we are looking for in a short amount of time – one week compared to ten to fourteen days!  We will use it for white wines as well; we’ll take aromatic extraction from the skins of white grapes for a couple of hours before pressing them.  In a nutshell, it’s a tank of form and function, which will result in fantastic-tasting wines for you.

Book a winery tour so you can come out and see our new tanks and, of course, do a little tasting while you are here.  Book a tour here.


Winemaker, Mark Schabel, looking thrilled to get a 2nd Ganymede tank.


Posted by , July 18, 2014 No comments

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