At this point, we rack our new wines for the first time. Racking is a very essential part of the winemaking development and it is performed two to four times throughout the barrel aging step. This helps with the clarification of the wine, but also inhibits the production of unwanted flavors and bacteria. It is simply the transferring of the wine from one barrel to another to minimize contact with the remaining skin and yeast particles that have settled to the bottom of the barrel over the last few weeks. The days following a racking will require the cellar master to constantly top the barrels as the wine soaks into the wood and evaporates, trying to minimize contact with oxygen. Topping will happen every few weeks from the day the wine is barreled until the day it is bottled.