Saturday, October 22, 2016


Except for some Cabernet Franc left on the vine for a possible Ice wine if weather gets cold enough, or a late harvest dessert wine, all other grapes have been picked.

It has been wild and hectic with 5 weekends in a row of picking and crushing.  Each trip, we pick close to a ½ ton of grapes and crush them and transfer the must to fermenters.  I like to inoculate them with yeast immediately and am a big fan of cool and slow fermentations which keep as much of the fruitiness intact as possible.

The weather cooperated nicely, except for rain on the last trip, and the grapes are gorgeous.  Good sugars, good color, good acids.  I am excited for the 2016 crop.

After about 8 days of fermentation with the fermentation not quite fermented to dryness, I press off the juice (or perform free run) into air tight containers and inoculate them with malolactic culture which will change the harsher malic acid to the softer lactic (think yoghurt) acid over time.  Malo works slower than yeast so it will do it's work over the course of a few months.

At some point in the process, I determine which wines will go into stainless, glass, or oak containers.

I have a couple more weeks of pressing to do but the Cab Franc Rosé, Roussanne, Malbec, Merlot, and about ½ of the Syrah are pressed. The rest of the Syrah and the Cabernet Sauvignon remain to be crushed in the coming two weeks.

The Roussanne was whole cluster pressed but the other varieties are all free run which means only the free running juice is used.  I lose some volume with this method but prefer the finished wine to have fewer harsh tannins which occur with pressing.

I am considering pressing the Cabernet Sauvignon but the verdict is still out on that.  I might want more structure to the Cab since the fruit is so pristine at the moment.

I had lots of volunteer help and needless to say, it would have been difficult to accomplish this level of production without them.  I am truly grateful.

All for now… I have pressing matters to attend to!



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