21 January 2010

Bentonite additions and Pruning

Well I finished the bench trials last week for Bentonite additions in order to make the wines that failed earlier protein stable. So no slimy clouds in my wine or rather your wine from me! To start this week off I made up the additions to add to the tanks of wine. Bentonite looks a lot like plain, non-flushable, kitty litter and I am half convinced that is all that kitty litter is but have yet to do the research to confirm that supposition. Now, back to the wine business at hand. I mix the Bentonite with almost boiling water so that it turns into slurry and allow that to sit overnight. Then while mixing the wine in tank I slowly drip in the slurry, the goal is to have it evenly mixed throughout the wine. This takes about 20 minutes. Next I close the tanks back up and let the Bentonite settle for about 2 weeks. It is quite heavy and drops out pretty quickly along the way binding with the protein compounds and taking them with it. The next step will to be to rack and blend the wines and finally filter them in preparation of bottling. Racking is process of pumping clear wine off the sediment in the bottom of a tank.

Mary, Barry and I also sat down this week and did our first tasting of the whites this year. Sorry no pictures this time. Because we have the 7 blend I have a lot more flexibility in our other whites. This year for example there are 3 tanks of pinot gris, and since some of that pinot gris is destined for the 7 blend I get to try a few different blends of pinot gris to try and make the best one. We tasted 3 yesterday and decided that while it was close there might be a better one out there so next week we will taste 3 more and see if we can find one we like better. This happens with all the wines: Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Pinot gris, Gewurztraminer and of course the 7 blend. The blend probably takes the longest because not only of the 7 components but also the infinite possibilities and yes 1% or 2% can make a big difference in the final blend.
Pruning has started in the vineyard and the guys are wishing for all the sunny or at least non-rainy days they can get. It will take them several weeks to go through and prune every plant and pull the old canes off the wires. Next month they will go through again and wrap this year’s canes around the wires in preparation for this year’s growth. I always find it amazing how much the plant grows every year. Below is a picture of the same Chardonnay vine that I showed a few weeks ago so you can see the before and after.

No comments:

Post a Comment