Ok, the mystery of winemaking manifests itself: Some bins have dropped sugar levels, some have stayed the same. Doesn't make sense, same grapes, harvested the same day, same initial sugar levels, so why the difference? Evil spirits? Don called Jessica and she suggested taking 5 gallons out of the lower testing bins and adding it to the higher ones. We'll try this before Don heads north to get more yeast. But we need to get these pressed off the skins very soon. Plus, Dwight Meadows of Diablo Vista Vineyards might need his 4 macro bins back for the harvest. Wish us luck.
OK, 24 hours later the new starter is in the bins, now it's time to let the magic of biochemistry take place. Off to the Giants game, with fingers crossed for team and the wine. Dawn came by with a Zinfandel Pie she made with our grapes...delicious.
Starter is made, now have to wait 24 hours for it to mature. I'll pour it in the macro bins tomorrow and then see if mother nature cooperates. This puts pressing and racking off for a time. Ahh, winemaking
Another curve ball from mother nature. Fermentation has stopped before all the sugar has been converted to alcohol, known as "stuck" in the biz. We still have a range of 3-8% sugar in the macro bins so we can't press tomorrow as planned. Don's coming out in the morning and we'll make some more starter and try to kic
So we fed them some more food. Sugar levels in 5-8.5 range so should be ready for pressing this Saturday. Moved empty barrels, empty bottle cases and 2010 Zin cases to make room for the 20 barrels we'll ha
After punching down the caps on 9 macro bins I'll be skipping the upper body workout part today and sticking to cardio and legs. Snowboard conditioning starts now.
Starting at 9am and ending at 3:30, not counting clean-up time. We had quite the crew here. Ended up with 2 bucket trains thanks to my neighbor David Naverette who owns Brentwood Olive Oil and brought his riding mower and another wagon to go with the two Darrell was towing with our Quad. About 30 pickers in all, kept those full buckets coming. There will be a bunch of new harvest photos soon. End Result: 8 1/4 tons of grapes picked, now resting in 9 macro bins and the 5 barrels from yesterday. Going to be a lot more upper body work out with 9 bins. We should be pressing next Saturday.
Ok, not too bad, Don, Michael, and I pressed two whole macro bins in about 2 hours, giving us just about 5 barrels of 2011 Zinfandel. This could be the Early Season that comes out in Jan-Feb of 2012.
Well the gnats finally showed up, but not a lot of them. Food must have worked because the brix levels are at .5 and 1 in the macro bins, so we'll be pressing Saturday. First of the 2011 vintage