Tuesday, September 21, 2010

!%&*$!#* Bins

Grapes are shipped from the vineyard to the winery in half-ton bins.  They're called half-ton bins because, well, they hold half a ton of fruit (1000 lbs). That yields 1 barrel of wine, or approximately 25 cases (300 750-ml bottles). The winery I am working for produces a few thousand cases a year, and that means slightly less than 250 barrels. That also means about 250 half-ton bins full of fruit.

Each bin spends the year stacked outdoors, and therefore collects all sorts of dust, soot, insects, and other crap. We have to clean them before they go to the vineyard, and boy did we ever clean them today!  They were power washed with hot water, then scrubbed with peroxicarb (aka sodium percarbonate or OxiClean) solution, rinsed, scrubbed with citric acid solution (aka Vitamin C or Sour Patch Kids coating, for you junkfood fanatics), and rinsed once more:

The bins are then sealed with a cover and stacked about 7 or 8 bins high, awaiting their trip to the vineyard.  Fun stuff, as you can see from my spiffy outfit.

Clean half-ton bins

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