Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zinfandel/Durif 2011 Latest update 8/4/11

7/13/11 With last week's rain, the zinfandel grapes that were ripe or beginning to ripen began to show signs of ripe-rot.  Time to bump up the schedule and pick grapes.

Here are the numbers.

204 pounds of grapes
Just under 19 gallons of juice

These grapes went through the destemmer.

The bunches were so mixed - green grapes to raisins - that a measure of sugar and acid was not possible.  We know the ripe grapes are very ripe and there were lots of shriveled grapes. 

After a 24 hour cold soak, these are the numbers:
Sugar 28
Ph 3.5
Acid 1.0
Fermentation was started.

The plan is to add grapes as they ripen to the fermenter to extend the fermentation time for maximum maceration.

Stanley picked another box of Zinfandel that were in danger.  He destemmed them by hand and added them to the fermenter.  The box weighed 20 pounds and brought the level of fermenting grapes to slightly more than 20 gallons.

Stanley picked another ten pounds of Zinfandel that were at risk for ripe-rot.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.

Stanley picked 10 pounds of Durif to add to the Zinfandel fermenter.

The Numbers:
Ph 3.6
Brix 25
Acid 1.05
The Plan: The Durif are showing no sign of ripe rot. Let them hang to develop more sugar and less acid.

Stanley picked another 25 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.

Stanley picked another 23 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.

Stanley picked another 23 pounds of Durif.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.

Stanley picked another 74 pounds of Durif.  We ran them through the crusher.  Here are the numbers:
Brix 25
Ph 3.7
Acid .57
From a chemistry stand-point, the Durif was perfect.
This completes the Durif harvest.  A total of 107 pounds.  There was no ripe-rot and only a small number of shot grapes at the end of the row.  The juice is very, very, very red.  Seeds are mostly brown and crunchy. 

Stanley picked an additional 46 pounds of Zinfandel.  They went through the destemmer.  This brings the total Zinfandel to 328 pounds so far.  Green and near green berries are still on the vine to be picked later as they ripen.

Added a small amount (about 3 or 4 pounds) of Durif to the 1st fermenter.  The remaining 44-45 pounds went in a 2nd fermenter for a 24 hour cold soak.

The 44-45 pounds of grapes that went into the 2nd fermenter were not enough to cover the coils in the cooler.  They were not cooling down sufficiently for a cold soak.  We transferred all the grapes to a larger fermenting tank combining all 328 pounds.

Stanley picked another 25 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.  Total now: 353 pounds.

Stanley picked another 23 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the ferment.  Total now:  376 pounds.

We picked the few grapes the birds had left at Jardin Botanico.  Of 400 vines of several different varieties, we salvaged 55 pounds of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Many of the grapes were in poor condition from lack of water and bird predation.  Since there were so few and they needed extensive sorting, we decided to destem them by hand.  The original plan had been to use them to start a fermentation of Cabernet, adding to it from our vineyards.  When Stanley checked, none of our Cabernet were ripe enough to pick.  Instead, we added the Jardin grapes to the Zinfandel/Durif fermenter as whole berries.

Stanley picked another 26 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.  Total as of 7/29/11including the grapes from the Jardin:  457 pounds. 

Stanley picked another 40 pounds of Zinfandel.  Added whole berries to the fermenter.  Total as of 7/30/11 including the grapes from the Jardin:  497 pounds.  This is the entire Zinfandel/Durif crop.  We have approximately 53 gallons of berries fermenting. 

Stanley added the malo-lactic bacteria to the fermenter. 

It seems the wine had already gone through the malo-lactic fermentation on its own.  The bubbler was quiet and we made the decision to press the grapes.  Almost exactly 40 gallons. 


Ben Hardy said...

Blimey - you're busy. I thought I was doing well having made the equivalent of 54 bottles of wine (and 8 flavours) over the last two months. And what fabulous photos on your Day by Day blog - thank you for alerting me to that. If your trip to Europe takes in Northern England, let me know.

Dona said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I think - when it comes to being busy - perhaps you are comparing apples to oranges. First, we may produce more wine than you, but I can't imagine 8 different flavors. We are shooting for 4 this year and just finding appropriate containers for aging has been a real hassle. For a while, it seemed everything was either too big or too little. Second, when we finish with the grapes, we'll be done. I would imagine your fruit wine activity is pretty much year round.
There will be a new post on Day by Day later today.
Have a great day!