Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wines I'm Making: Harvest 2014 (September 24, 2014)

We picked our grapes on the 24th of September this year, which is about a week to two weeks earlier than usual. The grapes were looking a little dehydrated and rain was threatening. While rain is good for the plants, a heavy rain on soft, ripe skins could have been disastrous and I was worried about mold. With the sugar levels close to optimal anyway, I decided to pick.

The Sangiovese must tested at 22.8 degrees Brix and a pH of 3.47, the Cabernet at 24.5 degrees Brix and a pH of 3.37, both close to ideal, although these are averages of all the grapes in the vineyard. I would like to have let the fruit hang a little longer, but I'm hoping the wine will be at least as good as it usually is--which is not bad at all.

I pressed the Sangiovese grapes on the following morning. I always make a rosé from the Sangiovese. The juice was about 18 hours on the skins, which has been normal. That amount of skin contact typically produces a wine of a pale salmon hue. The Cabernet is still cold soaking (or cool soaking anyway). I usually let the crushed grapes sit for about three days before inoculating with yeast. The Sangiovese fermentation is already underway. As usual, I have used the Epernay yeast for the rosé, the French Red yeast for the Cab. Soon the house will smell like a winery.

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