Bainbridge Island Grape Crush

on 07/11/10 at 10:14 am


BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — The constant hum of machinery provided the perfect music for winemaker Matt Albee last week as he orchestrated a complicated dance involving a forklift and plastic tanks in the driveway of his Bainbridge Island home.

With a hand-driven forklift, Albee gracefully moved the 4-foot-by-4-foot tanks — some filled to the brim with fermenting wine — from his double-car garage to the driveway outside. At the same time, volunteers shoveled pitchforks full of grapes into the de-stemming machine — the source of the humming — which stripped the stems from the clusters and crushed the berries.

Albee, owner and winemaker of Eleven Winery, was taking advantage of the rare sunny fall day to crush the last of his grapes for the 2010 wine-making season. The rearrangement of tanks and barrels in his garage and driveway — where his wine-making takes place — was to accommodate the creation of his newest wines.

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