Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cabernet Ripening - Chardonnay Carboy Pics

While Paul was at the day job today, I was at the winery doing punch downs and taking readings of the cabernet. We're getting close. I turned on the water for a couple of hours and will turn it on again this Saturday.

I yelled at the pups to stop eating the grapes off the vine, you can see how well that worked out...Ghillie gave me a sideways glance and went right back at it. Up the hill from where I was standing was a pile of grape barf. Tis the season...

And updates on the Chardonnay carboy: The explosive fermentation has mellowed out and now it's gently burbling. You can see the sediment line as the juice is starting to fall clear. The bottom quarter of the carboy is mostly solid gunk, and on top of that an almost equal amount of wine.

For those of you just tuning in to the chardonnay storyline here and the carboy pics, let me explain. Last year was our first vintage making white wine. The process is quite different than red winemaking. One thing for certain is that you want to have enough lees to keep fermentation bubbling along. Well, in a big stainless tank, you can't really see how many lees you have left behind, it's a guess based on what you watched pump through the hoses. So last year, we set aside a carboy, like the one above, with extra lees in case we needed to add them. The last thing you want is a "stuck" wine.
This year I put the extra lees in the carboy just for photo-ops. So we could have the photos to go along with the dialog.
If I can talk him into it, I'll have Paul do a follow up blog on the terminology I used. I'm more interested in taking the pictures and drinking the wine...which is chilling now, the 2008 that is. ;-)

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