Monday, April 05, 2010

Cold Stabilizing the Chardonnay

Saturday morning we were back in the winery with two tasks to do. First we had to rack and sulfur our 2009 Haut Tubee. This was the last of our red wines to go through this process. We left a little bit of the Haut Tubee in a 5 gallon glass carboy to give everyone an idea of the gunk that we're racking off of when we do this.

I racked the carboy below leaving just the lees at the bottom of the bottle. The wine above was clear. This is the stuff that builds up in the bottom of each barrel.

Then it was on to the Chardonnay. Cold stabilization is the process of chilling down a white wine to remove any tartaric crystals in the wine. The crystals will bind to the side of the tank as we chill the wine. That will prevent them from forming in the bottle.

One step we have to do is wrap the tank in additional insulation so that it will get cold enough. We then turn on the chiller and cool the tank down. The wine is racked into the tank and off of the lees. I use an attachment on the hose so that we leave the gunk in the bottom of the barrel and just get clear wine. The wine will now stay in tank for about 3 weeks.

Stefania cleans out the barrels after we are done. Hot water and high pressure will get them clean. We will then let them dry and sulfur them to prevent infection.

Some of the lees and water coming out after a first rinse. The barrels will be rinsed until the water runs out clean.

Everything went very smoothly and we were out of the winery in time to join some friends for Afghan food that night.

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