Saturday, May 02, 2009

Filtering Day

It was cold and rainy when we headed off this morning for the winery. The clouds hang low over the mountains surrounding the vineyard when it rains. We started by unloading all the supplies we'll need for bottling on Wednesday. Corks, foils (for the Chaine d'Or), and labels were stored in the dry room.

This is our first time using the filtering equipment. Jerry came down to help guide us through and get everything set up. The first step was to remove all the extra insulation from the chilled tank and get the second tank sealed up. I made sure to add some Argon to the second tank to keep the wine protected from oxygen as it transferred in.

The filter isn't really too hard. Cartridge paper filters get inserted in and clamped down and the pump gets hooked up to the filter. Getting everything in the right order isn't intuitive, but with Jerry's help we got it figured out. Stef is getting the hoses straight in the photo below.

First we pumped through a mixture of SO2 and Citric Acid to clean and disinfect all the equipment. It also helps remove any paper taste and prime the filter. Then we ran through regular water to make sure there was no solution left. Finally we hooked the pump and filter up to the tank. At first all that comes out is water, then a wine - water mixture, so we have a large bucket that we dump into and watch until pure wine comes out. Then we stop the entire thing and hook it up to the empty transfer tank.
The actually filtering took about 12 minutes. Set up was about an hour, and clean up was about an hour and a half. Here's Stefania hard at work inside the tank cleaning it and getting it ready to use again on Monday. I told her to smile and she said; "I have my mask on". I don't fit through the tank opening so Stef always gets this job.

Finally we headed out for a late lunch and the traditional after winemaking beverage.

The Chardonnay has turned out really good and we're excited to get it in bottle this week.

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