I decided to harvest our Sangiovese grapes yesterday (October 5), with the sugars looking good (at 22 degrees Brix) and the pH about right, at 3.47. We harvested 50.6lbs of grapes, which is a little more than last season. I'm happy to say that we lost none to animals this year and there was virtually no mold. Mostly good, healthy-looking grapes went in to the hopper for crushing. The Cabernet will require a little more time.
We got about 5.5 gallons of must and 3.5 gallons of pressed juice for fermentation (I always make a rosé from the Sangiovese). The must tested a little differently from the sample that prompted me to pick, but the numbers were still decent--21.5 degrees Brix and a pH of 3.66. The hydrometer read 1.090.
I very lightly sulfated the must (three Campden tablets) and left it overnight. As it was crushed at about 1:00PM on the 5th and pressed at about 11:00AM today, on the 6th, the juice spent 22 hours on the skins. I usually aim for about 18 hours, but a few extra hours won't make a big difference. I inoculated the juice with Epernay II yeast at around noon. Once the dry yeast on the surface is well hydrated, I'll mix it into the juice and it will be on its way to becoming wine. Fermentation usually takes anywhere from about six days to about 14 days.