We drove up to Pumpkin Ridge vineyard in North Plains to get some Riesling. It’s late in the year (although the weather is gorgeous) and there was a lot of mold on the grapes. Elly is here inspecting a cluster deciding whether to cut out any sections. Some berries were light green with black speckled spots, some were blushing a light purple, some berries were withering up and were dark purple, and then some were burst open and covered with a green powdery mold. Botrytis? Maybe, but we cut it all off. We were joined by two dogs, one of them named Boomer, some kind of duck hunting dog, who got very excited seeing us. I found a tennis ball and was throwing it for him. The other dog was a collie and would sit quietly watching us cut grapes.
Archive for the ‘Fermentations’ Category
Doing some tests on the musts. The Chardonnay is fairly ripe, at 24.5 brix. The Sauvignon Blanc is pretty acidic, at 0.98%. I’m not sure if that’s more then would be preferable, but it seems high. The Pinot Noir seems pretty spot on at 24 brix, or 12.5% potential alcohol, and 0.63% acid. In any case, the Sauvignon Blanc tasted like tart lemons and powdered lemonade, the Syrah a bit like watermelon, the Chardonnay a bit like apple cider.
I went back down to Mosier to get some more Syrah as a kind of experiment. I now have Syrah from the 11th, at 23 brix, and from the 15th, at 24 brix. Not a big difference, but still, two different levels of ripeness. With such a small quantity of grapes I didn’t bother getting a crusher/destemmer and so me and Elly did it by hand and foot, the old fashioned way.
I thought having a glass of wine while treading would inspire me, as it did.
I called up the vineyard at the last moment and so when I then tried to get a crusher/destemmer the wine shops were of course all booked up for several days in advance. We decided to simply crush the white grapes by hand, bunch by bunch, and press with the stems. The juice is so sugary, about 20% by weight, and very acidic, especially the sauvignon blanc, that it made our hands pretty parched by the end. Not to mention sore from crushing 400 pounds with mere elbow grease!