Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wines I'm Making: 2017 Sangiovese Harvest (September 25, 2017)

I picked our Sangiovese grapes on September 25, 2017. The juice from the just-crushed grapes was at 21 degrees Brix and a pH of 3.57 (although the pressed grapes tested much higher--at 26 degrees Brix). I got only 44lbs of grapes, which is a very low yield. I did not sulfite at all, but pitched the yeast (Epernay II) immediately. While the loss to animals this year was zero--proving my belated understanding that the key to preventing animal damage is getting the nets and the electric fence on early, while the fruit is still green and of no interest to four-legged intruders--there was a much more mildew damage than usual. I had to throw away probably a third of the grapes and even in the grapes I used there was more mildew damage than I'd have liked. I'm hoping the wine will not show evidence of unhealthy grapes. Time will tell. Because of the mildew, I pressed the grapes right after crushing them, so there was only about an hour of skin contact. In the past, I've let the grapes sit about 18 hours before pressing, which results in a deep rosé. This year the wine is likely to be a much paler pink. Our Cabernet grapes are still on the vines.

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