If 2020 wasn’t bad enough already, we can add this to the list of things gone terribly wrong.
Here’s how we stir the lees and the oak chips during Malolactic Fermentation of the Pinot Noir. It’s a power drill attachment with plastic blades attached at the end to mix it up. Works great.
Took the weekend off for a little R and R up at some nearby lakes. Came home to walk the vineyard and see what a little sunshine will do in a few days time. Tomorrow we need to pull a few more leaves to allow some of the hidden grape clusters get enough light and air.
Pinot Noir Row K
Pinot Noir Row J
Pinot Noir Row I
Chardonnay Row H
Chardonnay Row G
Chardonnay Row F
Chardonnay Row E
Chardonnay Row D
Chardonnay Row C
Chardonnay Row B
Chardonnay Row A
Yesterday we took our September 2019 harvest of Pinot Noir which had been crushed, destemmed, sO2’d and chaptilized out of deep freeze. We have 28 gallons of wine now defrosted and split between 2 fermenters filled with 14 gallons each. It’s still too cold to inoculate – just 48º so we have the cellar heat on and hope to raise them temperature to 70º in a day or two.
Next up we plan to measure our brix, ph and ta, make any adjustments needed then begin primary fermentation.
In another vessel we have 3 gallons of Chardonnay which is resting on fine lees – and has been for 6 months that we plan to inoculate with malolactic bacteria and nutrients like acti-malo and opti-malo plus and set into motion 1-3 months of MLF – (malolactic fermentation or secondary fermentation) The purpose of this process is to soften the mouthfeel of the wine by turning the Malic (harsh) acid into Lactic (softer) acid. TMC = too much chemistry!
In yet another vessel we have 3 gallons of our practice batch of Pinot Noir (grapes purchased from another vineyard which came to us frozen, crushed and destemmed with the correct brix (sugar) ph and acidity .. that wine has been through both primary and secondary fermentation and is soon to be racked and aged one last time before bottling.
We just returned from our winter and COVID19 quarantine in Arizona. We popped in mid April before bud break and returned a few days ago close to Memorial Day weekend.
The vineyard looks beautiful. Foliage on all the vines. We pulled suckers off on the canes and below the cordons today during our first long look.
Next up we will trim the growth along the cordon back to about a fist apart to ensure we have all the energy of the plants working to nurture the grapes with proper sunlight and airflow.
We also need to to use a fungicide like Thiolux to prevent the powdery mildew we got last year on a few of the Chardonnay. We would have done this sooner but COVID19 had us quarantined in Arizona.