Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wines I'm Making: 2013 Sangiovese Berry Sample

 It's that time of year. I got out my pH meter and my refractometer today to look at the sugar and pH levels of the Sangiovese grapes in the back yard for the first time this season. I collected a sample of berries from each of the plants in the vineyard and crushed them. First the sugar level: The juice is at 20 Brix. I'm aiming for 22-23 Brix, so another week to ten days, perhaps. The pH is at 3.40, which is a bit higher than I would have expected at this stage. I'll test again in a few days. If the pH seems to be rising steadily without the sugars going up much, I may have to pick at a somewhat lower sugar level than is ideal. We'll see how things progress.

[Update: I took another Sangiovese berry sample today, September 29. The sugar is now at 21 Brix, so up a point from the sample I took ten days ago. The pH is higher, too, but not alarmingly so, at 3.45. pH squared times Brix is 249.9. I'd like to get one more degree of sugar, but can probably pick any time. Rain is in the forecast--which may have a bearing on things, depending on how much we get.

I also checked the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for the first time today, taking a similar berry sample. The sugar is already at 25 Brix--right where I want it--and the pH is at 3.42, which is a good level) pH squared times Brix is 292), but I suspect the sugar is where it is in large part because the number of raisins on the vines is greater than usual at this time of year. It's normal for some raisins to form before harvest, but I suspect my attempt to dry farm the grapes this year (I've watered them only once or twice the whole summer) may have something to do with it. Normally I water three to four times. Some of the seeds look quite mature, others are still somewhat green. It's beginning to sprinkle just as the sun is starting to go down. If we get a heavy rain tonight (September 29) or a prolonged rain begins to look likely, it may be best to pick very soon.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails