Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big day today!

Last day of harvest. Whoo! Less waking up in the 4-5 a.m. range. We started the morning by getting mourvedre into the final small tank for Kris and I to turn into wine.

The excitement then continued -- fermentation for the Dear Leader cabernet sauvignon has been done for a couple days, so today we got it into the barrel. Though usually the cellar uses 225 liter oak barrels, this one was 300 liters (around 400 bottles of wine?) -- the plan being to get the entire tank into that one barrel. Though usually one would pump the juice and then press the skins from the tank to get the rest of the juice, we thought/hoped that we'd be able to get enough liquid from the tank without having to press the skins. We were right, though just barely. We ended up having to spend about 15 minutes pressing some of the skins by hand to entirely fill the barrel. We thought about going shoeless and stomping the juice out like in the good ole days, but decided against it.

Anyway, the DL cab is in the barrel, where it will mature and increase its complexity for the next 12-18 months or something like that. The one concern that we've had in tests of it is that its acidity has been really high. Certainly not the end of the world though -- it does mean that it will probably age well. Note to self: have some kind of a wine cellar in which to age it by 2012.

Harvest finished up with the rest of the mourvedre, and then the remaining shiraz from block 3. That's been a lousy block in terms of grape quality, but we decided to fill the tank that the cab had occupied with it. If it turns out ok, Kris wants to make some sweet wine and give it as a gift to some of the workers here.

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