Monday, September 28, 2009

Chardonnay Harvest

There was no fog as we started at 7:45. Good for the grapes, no extra water on them to dilute the wine, but bad for us. It would be a long, hot hard day and my on going cold would be hard on me through the day. Jerry had the crew working well, focused on clean bins and getting all the fruit.

Chardonnay is tough to pick because when it's ripe it's the same colors as the fall leafs on the vines. We usually send one person behind the pickers so check for any missed clusters.

The scary crusher set up. We actually got it up in place ok, getting down though was a little more dramatic. The grapes go in to the top of the crusher in 30 pound bins and are destemmed. The must then drops into the press below. Most of the juice runs 'free' into the pan below and is then pumped into a pre-chilled tank for 24 hours. This will help the solids or 'lees' settle out to the bottom of the tank

I had a little trouble getting the press to run. It's a bit temperamental. It would not get out of the decompress phase in automatic mode, so I had to restart it and run through the cycles manually. Then there was about 4 hours of clean up.

Stef cooked a great lunch for everyone though and had lots of snack on hand. My 2PM my cold was wearing me out and I though about trying to sleep a little on the winery floor, but pulled a chair up in front of the press instead. The final numbers were very exciting. 25.5 Brix, 3.5 pH and a TA of .8 The juice tasted fantastic, with ample sugar and peach and pear notes. We harvested 2.2 tons in all.

We got home and into bed by 8:30 and got in 9 good hours of sleep. One more vineyard done, and probably the hardest day of winemaking we'll have.

1 comment:

Chardonnay Wine Grapes said...

Congrats Sounds like a nice harvest.