Saturday, February 03, 2007

Brrrrr... too cold to press

Well, the 2006 Chez Ray has had its 8 weeks of extended maceration and is ready for pressing and being racked (siphoned) into glass carboys with oak staves. But, hold on a second... Pressing and crushing is an outdoor affair. And take a look at this temperature reading!!



No, I'm not headed out for a day of crushing in 17 degrees fahrenheit! We'll wait until a warmer weekend.

So 8 weeks of extended maceration in the basement may just have to become 10 weeks... or 12 weeks. That presents two problems: 1) the oak staves should be in the wine now to start the wood aging process; and 2) malolactic fermentation needs to be started in the warmer home temperatures.

I will solve the first problem now by baking, cooling and placing the oak staves into the buckets of must. Then I will transfer them to the glass carboys along with the wine when I eventually press it. The second issue (of malolactic fermentation) will simply need to be placed on hold til after pressing.

Ahh, winemaking with grapes... a pursuit custom-built for procrastination...

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