A Peek into Operations at EnRoute Winery

by on June 30, 2014

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Gordon Smith, Andrew Delos, and Juan “JP” Perez, flanked by Pinot Noir barrels on the left and Chardonnay barrels on the right.

Introducing our EnRoute winemaking team! Our Russian River Valley facility is currently being manned by these three gentlemen and, occasionally, a black Labrador named Jack. Right now, the 2013 vintage is resting comfortably in tank and barrel, and 2014 is still inching towards veraison. We took advantage of this moment of respite to catch up with the EnRoute trio on their roles and duties at EnRoute:

Andrew Delos, Winemaker
What he does
: As winemaker, I focus on vineyard to bottle processing – sourcing and scouting vineyards, sourcing fruit and signing contracts, getting the fruit into tank and making decisions on fermentations and blending.

Best part of the job?: Harvest, hands down. I love being in the cellar doing punch downs, sorting fruit, and filling barrels. We wait nine months for those three months of the year. It’s how the wines are made – our one chance!

Gordon Smith, Enologist
What he does:
I get to run a small, but formidable, laboratory here. My responsibilities include quality control, ensuring our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are healthy and stable, and monitoring the brix (the sugar content in wine) and temperatures of fermentations. I also get to assist in the cellar with crush and wine movements, all the way through bottling.

Best part of the job?: Since we are a small operation, I get to offer a hand in everything – even budgeting! – and I don’t feel pegged to one role.

Juan “JP” Perez, Cellar Supervisor
What he does:
I take care of cellar operations. Right now, my responsibilities include things like checking the tanks in the morning, sanitizing equipment, and topping off barrels.

Best part of the job?: I really enjoy the atmosphere, especially the challenge and excitement of deadlines during harvest and bottling. I’m also happy to transition from our sister winery, Far Niente – I’m a lot closer to my home in Santa Rosa and with the recent birth of my youngest, this really couldn’t have come at a better time.

There you have it folks – our small but mighty EnRoute team! You won’t be seeing these guys traversing any tasting rooms just yet; currently, EnRoute is not able to offer tours and tastings. If you’re interested in getting a hold of our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, please email us at contact@enroutewinery.com or message us on Facebook.

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