Filtering and bottling

Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in case you missed them!

Step 8: Filtering

After levels have been adjusted and the wine has been aged sufficiently (usually a few months for whites and about a year for reds), it’s time to filter the wine in preparation for bottling:

After filtering, the wine becomes noticeably clearer:

Something I’ve observed about the most effective people I know is that they are decisive. We make hundreds of decisions every day and countless decisions throughout our life — ones as large as the person you marry to as small as what you’re going to eat for lunch.

To me, decisiveness is about:

  1. Having a clear sense of the goal behind the decision and what outcome is desired.
  2. Knowing how much data is sufficient to make an informed decision and obtaining that data in a timely way.
  3. Making an informed decision in an appropriate amount of time with the limited…

My 10th grade Honors Biology teacher had one theme that he reminded us of every week, if not every day:

How much is enough?

As we learned about biology, he constantly had us think about that question.

That class was a decade ago, but I still contemplate that question on a frequent basis for many areas of my life — for example:

  • How much sleep is enough?
  • How much exercise is enough?
  • How much money is enough?

This simple question has become a core part of how I prioritize and guides many of my decisions. It’s impossible to do everything in life — you have to choose what you care about and how much you care.

For me, this question helps me devote appropriate time and effort towards the things most important to me while giving sufficient attention to things that are less important.

Primary and secondary fermentation, preparing for aging

Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them!

Step 5: Primary Fermentation

After a few days, the yeast becomes active and begins consuming the sugars to produce CO2 and alcohol:

White wines (juice only) require twice-a-week stirring, whereas red wines (skins still in the container) require twice-a-day stirring:

Crush grapes, prepare for fermentation

If you missed Part 1 (which covers Steps 1 and 2), you can read it here!

Step 3: Fetch and De-stem the Grapes

Every Saturday in September and October, our group sends a truck to Eastern Washington to pick up whatever grapes are ready. The Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc that I ordered happened to be part of the first round of grapes, so I got to be part of this year’s kickoff fetch.

The truck leaves before sunrise and returns in the early afternoon:

We set up the de-stemming machine next to it and begin shoveling grapes into it. (you can see it’s a team effort)


Ordering grapes, preparing equipment

Earlier this year I joined a local winemaking group that purchases grapes from vineyards in Eastern Washington and makes wine together. I thought it’d be fun to document my winemaking adventures in a series of posts, so here is part 1!

Step 1: Order Grapes

The process begins in March by ordering grapes. Our group assembles a spreadsheet that lays out each vineyard’s varietals and we mark how much we want:

Per recommendation of an experienced friend in the group who has been doing this for seven years, I order 100 lbs of Merlot, 100 lbs of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 100 lbs of Sauvignon…

In 2010, I photographed my first dance performance. I had less than a year of photography experience and used an entry-level DSLR. I had no idea what I was doing.

For the next several years, I had the incredible opportunity to hone my skills as Natya’s photographer. As they grew as a dance team, I grew as a photographer.

I don’t understand why workplace culture is so obsessed with how many hours we work in a week.

Judging employee performance by the quantity of hours worked is like judging student intelligence by SAT score: easy to standardize across everyone but a near meaningless metric because it is such a narrow indicator of overall ability.

When I first started my career, I fell into the trap of thinking I was guaranteed to be more successful if I worked more hours. That more hours was directly proportional to more success, growth, and respect.

While that true to a certain extent, productivity…

When I reach a milestone, I set my sights on the next one.

The biggest application of this comes in my career. When I start a new job, I think hard about how the position plays into the broader picture and where I want to go after it.

The key benefits I’ve found from this practice:

  • Prioritization is much easier once you’ve identified the end goal(s)
  • Helps you be more intentional with your time and ensure you spend it wisely
  • Keeps you casually on the lookout for any opportunities that come up organically

I recently passed one year at Highspot

Last month, I got to cross Dirtfish rally school off my bucket list. Here are some rally fundamentals that I think apply well to life.

Lesson 1: Look Where You Want to Go

One of the first lessons in racing is to turn your head towards where you want to go.

Here’s how I think this applies to life: a goal is like a turn — whether it’s small or big, you need to look towards the end of it.

Just like how the car goes where your eyes look, focusing on the outcome of the goal will move you…

Tim Tan


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