|Monday August 23, 2010
We are harvesting Thursday!! I've decided to make a barrel, 25 cases of sparkling wine now. We will harvest about 1000 pounds of Pinot Noir and dilute it with either Barbera or Sauv Blanc. We just tested Pinot from two sections and got 22.1 brix and a PH of 3.0. We need a sugar reading of 19% in order to make a still wine of only 10 to 11 alcohol and then add the yeast and sugar to ferment in the bottle. I know the Barbera and Sauv Blanc will be much lower sugar so I will determine how much to pick to reduce the juice to 19 brix. We are excited!! The first Pinot for sparkling wine is being picked today at 19% sugar at a few vineyards in Sonoma. We could have picked at 19 Brix about two weeks ago and been the first to pick in Sonoma county but like I have said before we want a higher sugar to get more fruit character out of the grapes for our sparkling wine. We will harvest another 1.5 tons of Petite Sirah and Barbera for sparkling wine in a few weeks. It now looks like we will be harvesting Sauv Blanc for our white wine within two weeks and we could be harvesting Zinfandel in three weeks if we can average over 90 degree high days. Today we will have a high of over 100 degrees and tomorrow could be hotter. It might cool off later this week.
12:15 Pm: We just got the readings for the Barbera and it came in at 16.2 brix which will blend great with the pinot. The Sauv Blanc test came in at 19.5 so that is too high to blend now. As I said earlier we should be harvesting Sauv Blanc in two weeks.
Wednesday August 25, 2010
Tomorrow is the DAY!! It will be the first day of Harvest. I can't wait.........................
On Saturday night, August 14, 2010 my air conditioner stopped working. Until three days ago the high temperature only reached about 80 degrees. Yesterday we had a high of 112 degrees. Today was 110. After 11 days my air conditioner is working again, thank you!!!
Thursday August 26, 2010
Harvest has started. We had problems as usual. Our press broke down but we used it manually. Our pump broke down but we fixed it. We had many customers come by but Pat took care of them. We are mentally exhausted.
We pressed whole bunches of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Peloursin. Matt wanted to wait to harvest our sparkling wine grapes but I wanted to make a sparkling wine with my ideas. It will be called Dave's Sparkie or something like that. Last year we tried to follow the rules in making a traditional sparkling wine. That involved selecting bunches that would combine to produce a still wine with a PH of 3.1 and brix of 19. This year Matt wants to harvest Petite Sirah and Barbera with grapes with the same numbers in about two weeks.
Today I had Catarino and Salvador pick the bunches and I had Matt press the whole bunches. We picked 800 pounds of Pinot Noir at 23.4 brix and 450 pounds of Syrah and Peloursin at 19 brix. I had them water the 22.2 brix juice down to 20.2 brix, riper than last year and a PH of 3.25, less acid than last year. As I have said in this diary in the past, I like wines with no residual sugar in them. Traditional sparkling wine has residual sugar amounting to 0.5% to well over one percent. Our sparkling wine from last year is wonderful with no residual sugar but to my tastes it could use a little less acid. We will release some of the sparkling wine next February with different amounts of sugar added and see what the results are. This sparkling wine that we are fermenting today will be from grapes at higher sugar and less acid and my hope is that it will have even more character.
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