28 June 2011

We finally tasted the sparking wine!

We got some rain last night and today which is good for the plants that we put in the ground this weekend at the house and great for reducing the pollen in the air but the cooler temperature is not so good for growing grapes. The moderate temperature and higher humidity are also perfect for growing powdery mildew another bane of grape growers and rose enthusiasts both. I did photograph the clusters today, again Foch on the left and Chard on the right.
I also went out last week and looked for some clusters in an earlier stage of development so you can see more how they start.  These are Gewurztraminer.
In the vineyard the guys are cleaning the heads of the vines.  This means they are removing weak canes and some of the leaves from around the heads for two main reasons; one is so that the plant will put more energy into the main canes where the fruit is being grown and the other reason is so that the increased air flow will reduce disease pressure both by allowing more air movement and so we get better spray penetration which in turn both reduces the amount we need to use and makes it more effective.  How was that for a run on sentence?
Last week we finally sat down and tasted the wine at varying levels of bubbles which I created by adding differing amounts of sugar back in April when I made up the sample bottles.  Link to that post is here.  The table was mostly in agreement on how bubbly they liked the wine and now I just need to move forward on getting the wine bottled.  Each of us took a bottle home to finish that night and everyone agreed they liked the wines even more properly chilled and are excited to get it in the bottle.  
I talked to the lab as well and it looks like all the tests are good.  I might need to do a little protein fining so that the wine doesn't go cloudy if it gets left in a hot car and am running those tests now.  I need to filter the samples and then take them home and cook them for 6 hours to see how much bentonite it will take to fix the problem.  The disadvantage to fining the wine is that I will remove color, you can see it sitting in the bottom of the jars, and will change the flavor.  Here comes the tough part of winemaking, how to balance making a more stable wine versus a possibly more flavorful one.  I will taste through the fined wines as well to see when I start noticing a flavor impact due to the fining and then based on the test results try to balance the two sides.
Just to keep you up to date on the home front I got a new custom built herb garden for my b-day.  Chad says it's for me but really I think he was just tired of all the pots of herbs sitting on the patio.  Either way I am very happy to have it and it is just outside the kitchen door so perfect for grabbing what I need.  I even had space to add in a few new ones and I sowed some Thai Basil seeds from my mother.  I hope they come up! 

No comments:

Post a Comment