#93 “Rack” August 29, 2014

by Grape Stomper Todd on August 28, 2014


Billiard_RackTODDCAST EPISODE 93: SHOW NOTES: Outline for this week’s episode:




Greetings Moonstoners, today is August 29th.  And summer is pretty much over and we’re getting back on track podcast-wise if harvest doesn’t get in the way!


On this day in 1869, the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire was officially opened.  This was the first rack railway in the United States.   A rack and pinion railway was designed for steep grade climbing by using a toothed rail and and a cog wheel driven by the locomotive.  It began carrying passengers in 1868, but finally reached the summit in 1869.  It is still in operation today.  


And that brings us to our Wine Word of the Day:   Rack


Well I could go multiple ways here, Jill. We could talk about barrel racks, or racking wands, or the process of racking wine.


I think we can all guess what a barrel rack does, right? It holds the barrels in place and keeps them from rolling around. Barrel racks also allow us to stack the barrels on top of each other. We stack our barrels sometimes six barrels high. And after the recent earthquake in Napa, it gives me more than a little pause when I’m walking underneath them!


But another term in the cellar is “Racking”.  Think of racking as siphoning. Over time, particles or sediment falls to the bottom of the barrels. We call that sediment the “lees”. Well, we don’t want the mucky lees in your wine bottles so periodically we separate wine from the lees by siphoning the clean wine out of the barrels. The wine is sucked out of the barrel by siphoning, or with a pump, or the wine is “pushed” out of a barrel using pressurized gas. All of these techniques are referred to as racking.


The wine goes from the barrel to a stainless steel tank and then the sediment is washed out of the barrels.  The wine is then returned to the freshly cleaned barrels.  The whole process is known as “racking” or “rack and return”. The tool we put in the barrel to help us remove just the wine and not the lees is known as “racking cane” or a “racking wand”. I wish it was a magic wand to make the tedious process happen instantly!


To be honest, I don’t know where the term “rack” or “racking” comes from. I’m stilling wracking my brain to figure that one out!


For transcripts links and more toddcasts go to moonstonecellars.com/wwd. if you have any suggestions for more words, historical facts or tips on which wines you’d pair with a rack of ribs, please send your emails to info@moonstonecellars.com.

And until next time, cheers to you


TASTING ROOMORS (Happenings in the Tasting Room)

Pinedorado Weekend!

Harvest has begun!

October 2nd, Kickoff to the Scarecrow Festival

October 18th, it’s our first annual Game Night!  




This is not good news.


This means war.


Gone to seed.


I promise we’re not doing this.


Good news for your tummy.


Giving you the finger.




Virgo, it’s clean-up time.  Fortunately you are the most organized of the signs.  And your amazing energy makes projects a breeze.  So tackle that wine cellar and get those bottles in order of date, and then crack open an older vintage while you work. The time will fly by.



Oh, the French.  There is one famous vineyard in France, which will remain unnamed, that considers its soil so precious that workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave for the day.



Voice Over Talent – Ellen Dawson and Emmy-Award Winner,  Andrew Dawson (Andrew’s YouTube Channel)

Utter Nonsense – Jill and Todd


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