Friday, August 30, 2013

Brianna Begins Fermentation

Continuing from where I left off on our last posting....The Brianna finished up the cold soak and was readied  fermentation. We racked the juice off all the "sludge" that settled off the grapes while they were enjoying their cold bath. We then prepared the yeast and some nutrients and added those on Wednesday evening.  With our return to the cellar 24 hours later  we noted that fermentation had already commenced. We will keep an eye on the fermentation, adding some more nutrients and other goodies along the way as the sugar is turned into alcohol and the wine is born!
 Preparing the yeast in water. Temp is important thus the temp probe.
Wine is slooooowly added to the yeast so the yeast can acclimate to the substantially lower temperature. You don't want to shock the yeast.

By Thursday evening fermentation had begun. I know it doesn't look pretty, but everyone seems to love the wine that will come from this! The brianna will go into our Treno.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Harvest Has Begun

Harvest began in earnest this past weekend as the Brianna was brought in from our vines. It was good news and bad news with the Brianna.  The good news we harvested 3,000 lbs, which is up over last years paltry 900 pounds and our prediction of  1,750 lbs.  The bad news...we harvested 3,000 lbs of Brianna.  I only say bad news because Brianna is our toughest grape to harvest. Being on the taller side and this grape growing utilizing the vertical shoot position method of trellising provides a challenge. There is a LOT of bending over and my back today feels it. We had a good crew of about 10 out on Saturday morning and thought we would complete the entire task. 5 plus hours and a 93 degrees later we had gotten 4 of  8 rows picked and were spent. So we came back on Sunday with 15 and finished up the task. After 2 days in the hot sun we decided to call it a day and move on to the cellar.

On both days we still had to process the grapes. Erich and I spent the afternoon running the grapes through the crusher destemmer  which  removes the grapes from the stems. After running them through they went to the press to squeeze the juice out.  All the while trying to keep the grapes as cool as possible. By late Sunday afternoon we had approximately 240 gallons of juice getting cooled down in our newest tank and awaiting some more work before fermentation begins.

That's one varietal down and 7 to go.  Hopefully it will cool down a bit!