Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hecho a Mano Zinfandel 2013

July 20, 2013

We knew it would be a busy day.  Ernesto, Alida, and their associates were bringing grapes to press for a Rose.  I had a commitment in town:  the judging of the Alianza Art Contest and presentation of winners. Eduardo and Magalie were in town and I knew they wanted to make dinner for all of us in the evening. And, it was raining again.  We have had as much rain in the past two weeks as we have had the entire seven years of our experience in Parras.

When I left the house at 2:00 PM Ernesto and Yoyo had just arrived with the Rose grapes.  I had enjoyed my visit with Tincha and her daughter Annai, and I would have loved to help with the grape crushing, but I had to be at the Casa de Cultura to receive the art work.

Unknown to all of us was the beginning of rot in the Zinfandel.  Stanley had been watching it very closely because of all the rain.  There was no sign the day before.  Then suddenly there it was.  While I was dealing with artists filling out forms and encouraging them, Annai was walking through the vineyard with Stanley and she spotted the rot.  I should mention that Annai has a Master Degree in Enology.  She has studied in France, Spain, and Italy and is presently employed by an inport/export company in Copenhagen.   She knows her stuff. She and Stanley decided that the only hope for any of the crop was to harvest that day and process the juice as white Zinfandel.  Box after box.  Over 400 pounds of water soaked berries.

By the time I got home, they had almost finished the sorting.  Between berries that were infected and those that were too green to process, we lost about 80 pounds of grapes.

We pressed them and retrieved about 21.5 gallons of juice.  The grapes were so soft and so full of water they were oozing out the sides of the press.  It was impossible to get more juice.  Today, it smells great but we will have to see what kind of wine it makes.

If anyone reading this thinks they might like to grow Zinfandel, I would like to suggest that you do some in-depth research before you plant.  They have been a huge disappointment for us.

Here's the facts:
Brix 20
Ph 3.29
Acid 8.0

Everyone took turns with the pressing except Eduardo.  He was busy grilling meat.  Magalie had brought everything necessary for a real feast for 11 people except salad.  I put that together and around midnight we had a fabulous meal.  The pressing was finished.  We did a cursory clean-up and finally got to bed about 2:00 AM.

What a day!

July 31, 2013

Fermentation is at 3% sugar.  Some of the wine was racked into two five gallon carboys.  Each one was treated with 1/4 tsp metabisulfite in an effort to stop the fermentation.

The remainder of the wine was racked into two carboys with no metabisulfite so that it will continue fermenting.

August 14, 2013

Racked the two carboys which had not been treated with metabisulfite.  Added the 1/4 tsp metabisulfite.

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