28 February 2013

Just under the wire!

So I wrote last month I would post once a month and I managed to bring this one down to the last day.  Not a a good start!  However, the month has been productive and educational.  A plus in my book (pun intended.)

I started off with filtering the white wines to get them ready for bottling.  I use a pressure leaf filter with diatomacous earth (DE) to get them from settled but still cloudy to sparkling.  The wines are not sterile at this point so I still need to maintain sulfur dioxide levels (SO2) which works as both an anti-oxidant and an anti-microbial.  It's great when one chemical will do two things.  I use a blend of grades of DE, hence the color differences.  It starts out as a very fine dust and forms a cake when it gets wet and is under pressure creating the filter.  The screens inside the filter housing are just there to catch the DE and to start the cake forming.  I find it fascinating that it works.

We had some great tartrate formation this year in the Gewurztraminer.  Here it is starting to lift off the door when I started cleaning.  It doesn't always come off this easily, usually it glues itself and only hot water and elbow grease get it off but sometimes you get lucky.  Transitional art and easy clean up.

I also attended a Riesling tasting this month with other Oregon winemakers.  I love it when I get the chance to sit down and taste what other people are doing and to hear how they are making it.  I tasted a few beauties that I will definitely be looking for in a few months.  We were tasting unbottled samples and many were still not filtered as well which does mean the wine will change before it is on the shelf but regardless there are some great 2012 Rieslings on the way.  The feedback from my piers is invaluable as well as seeing/tasting how my own wine compares to others: is it drier, sweeter, bigger, more acidic, more delicate?  What about fruit flavors or floral aromas?  Some of the things I am looking at when I taste Riesling.  Thanks to Penner-Ash Cellars for the lovely facility.

In the vineyard the crew has finished pruning and done most of the tying down.   It looks like we might have pinot blanc this year too which would be exciting.  Look at those happy grafts!  I always like how tidy the vineyard looks after pruning and Riley thinks it's great for running.  As my dad would say, the vines are all potential.  Here's to a great growing year.

No comments:

Post a Comment