Saturday, October 04, 2008

Chez Ray Riesling: 2008 Vintage Underway

We harvested a few bunches of 2008 riesling grapes from the Chez Ray vineyard last week.

Here they are, just picked:


With such a small batch, I'll destem by hand, and do the crushing with a potato masher:



Passing the must through the strainer gives us a cloudy juice:




The sugar level - called brix - is a mere 12 degrees. That is a far cry from the 21-25 degree measure you'd typically be looking for in a fully mature grape for making dry red wine with, say, 11-14 percent alcohol. I'll add a bit of sugar and begin fermentation in a couple of huge fermentation tanks - otherwise known as beer bottles:


I dosed these with a bit of yeast food and some actively fermenting juice from my batch of 2008 Dry Honey Mead, which was inoculated with ICV D254 yeast. The fermentation is underway and we'll see what happens in a couple of weeks.

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