… for the “picking” part of vintage at least!
A HUGE thank you to our trusty group of volunteer hand-pickers – Julia, Beth, Glynn, Nigel, Janelle and Hugh.
They got up early on Saturday morning to join us in the vineyard. They braved the elements (ie. a gorgeous 20 degree, blue sky day), risked life and limb (one minor cut to a finger was reported) and tackled the wildlife (ie. one feisty toddler and a couple of bees) to pick the last of the fruit for vintage 2019. Thanks, team! We hope you enjoyed the day and got answers to all of your grape-growing/wine-making questions along the way.
After a couple of days in the cold room, the grapes made their way to the winery for destemming and crushing.
Here are a couple of videos showing it going into the crusher…
… getting crushed…
… and all the unwanted stems being spat out the back…
And the result?
From the start, Rob knew this was going to be a pretty exciting wine – the fruit looked really good.
The lab reported a final Baume of 14.0 (and for those of you interested… 5.5 T/A, 3.60 pH). Which, according to Rob, is about as perfect as it gets. He has adjusted the pH down a bit with tartaric acid and it is currently sitting in the tank “cold soaking “. He thinks this will give some nice extra aromas and flavours. It’s a technique that is often used with Pinot Noir and will be very interesting to see how it turns out.
The yeast went in today and the ferment will be off and running soon. As you can see from the pictures, it’s in an open fermenter but too high to plunge by hand. The ferment with be will be “pumped over”* twice a day. This is done to keep the skins from drying out, and possibly becoming volatile. It also makes sure the yeast has enough oxygen to keep doing its all-important job.
* Also known as remontage (in French), “pumping over” is the process of pumping red wine up from the bottom of the tank and splashing it over the top of the fermenting must.
Rob is aiming for a bit over a week of fermentation but will keep a close eye on it during that time. He will be paying particular attention to tannin levels, to make sure it doesn’t become too astringent. Tempranillo is a naturally high tannin variety compared with Shiraz for example. The wine takes a long time to soften if it starts off too tannic.
And the rest…?
The Sauvignon Blanc is now completely dry. It has a fabulously lifted, tropical fruit aroma. Delicious! With all the yeast in there, it is rather hard on the palate, but that it will be much softer when it’s “cleaned up”.
The Pinot sparkling is looking terrific, and the malolactic fermentation aromas are now starting to show up. Just lovely!!
Not much to report regarding the Pinot dry red. It’s still very early days, with the malolactic fermentation not taking off just yet.
Pressing versus crushing – what is the difference?
Before I go, I just wanted to explain a few terms (which I know I always used to get confused)…
When making white wine, the fruit is usually pressed before primary fermentation. This is a gentle process which minimises the amount of skin contact with the juice. And we know this is super important for a wine like our sparkling.
For red wines though, the grapes are first crushed to maximise the amount of skin contact (where all the colour and flavour are). It is then pressed after fermentation to squeeze out the remainder of the juice and remove the skins and seeds, etc.
Of course, there are many ways to make red and white (and orange!) wines, so you will certainly see variations on these processes depending on the style.
Ask us anything!
Are there any wine-making terms or words you’ve heard bandied around that you just don’t understand? There is no such thing as a dumb question here. Send me an email and I’ll find out the answer for you (and publish it here for the benefit of others)!