Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Estate Blend | Year 3

For those who didn't know, within the past month, I've had to move out of my old residence due to unforeseen circumstances. Luckily the timing of the move was right as the grapes were ripe enough. So I was able to harvest grapes from my portable vineyard for this year's estate blend.

If you look below, you can see a bin filled with all the grapes harvested. This is about 98% from the Syrah plant (pictured above) with about 2 clusters or so from the Tempranillo. Unlike last year, I decided to not include the Symphony grapes this year, as that vine and its fruit were in poor shape. Unfortunately during my move, my scale broke, so I was not able to get a weight of all the grapes.

Time for destemming! There were a lot of grapes this year, significantly more than last year! I might need to get some machinery to do this if my harvests keep growing like this.

Amazing how full the bowl was. Following that, I had to recall my former skills as a wine lab technician to crush all the grapes. I found the wooden spoon to work well, but my crushing with my hands helped too. The main goal was to not crack any of the seeds, as that introduces too many tannins. 

I strained out all the pomace to get an idea of how much juice was made this year. Nearly filled a whole 32 oz mason jar! That was enough for me to get a gravity reading on it. The gravity of my must was 1.070. To me, this says that I should have waited a little longer to harvest. However, this should still make a drinkable end product.

Since the jar doesn't have enough space to include some seeds and skins to ferment the must on, I threw all of it into a 1 gallon carboy. Sure wasn't fun squeezing the pomace into the mouth of the jar. Now how to get it back out.....

I'll have this ferment in my closet (using Cotes de Blancs yeast) for about a week before I remove the skins/seeds. I'm really happy that I was able to make the wine this year. For those worried about the grapevines, they'll soon be at my new place, and they'll have a whole year to adjust to the landscape before the next harvest. Until next time, cheers!

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