09 December 2011

It's cold.

It is really cold.  I just want to get that off my chest.  This morning it was 23F as I was driving in to work.  I did talk to a friend today who said it was 16F in Montana but that's Montana.  I don't live in Montana!  I live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and if I want cold and snow I drive to it!  I don't want it coming to me.  I have to admit that it has been pretty though.  A few mornings ago I was making my coffee and enjoying the sun streaming in the window and saw glitter falling from the sky.  That is the best way I have to describe it.  I think it was either very fine snow or some sort of freezing fog and it looked like tiny pieces of glitter.  I tried to capture it on camera but the sparkle was too fine and the moment was so magical that I wasn't really trying that hard.  I just wanted to enjoy the beauty.   Okay I'm done discussing the cold . . . maybe.  By the way, just for comparison, September to December.


So what does a winemaker do when it's this cold, why turn into a mad scientist of course.  The warmth of the lab being a driving factor, that and I had to grow up yeast.  Yeast!  In December!  In the freezing cold!  (Oh yeah, no more cold complaints.)  Unfortunately I think the aforementioned cold aggravated a difficult fermentation and it was slowly grinding to a halt with too much sugar left in the wine.  So rather than put it off any longer I spent yesterday growing yeast and very carefully adding about a third of the sluggish wine to the yeast.  I let that sit overnight and when it seemed to be going well today I added it back to the remaining two-thirds.  Not quite the way I am supposed to do it but tank space is at a premium right now.  So fingers crossed the new yeast will get the job done and the wine will go dry in the next week or two.  And as soon as I get this sluggish ferment to finish I will start blending trials for the seven and then we can think about bottling.  Maybe it won't be so cold!

Otherwise things are quiet.  The chardonnay and rose in barrel are poking along nicely though I finally had to put a heater in the barrel room.  Yes, it's cold there too!  Even with the barrel room half underground.  They are getting close to the point where they might decide to stick if the yeast gets too cold.  (Kind of like me.)  I am excited about the rose and am going shopping to buy all the roses I can find to compare to what I have.  Let me know if there are any you particularly like.
Treat please!

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