Sunday, February 01, 2009

Brrrr... Pressing in the Cold

Wine waits for no man (or woman)... but only when it comes to pressing. Almost everything else may be done at leisure.

For the 2008 vintage of Brehm frozen grapes, I wanted to press at dryness (eg, as brix sugar level approaches zero). Two weekends after yeast inoculation, dryness occurred (for all except the Alexander Valley Syrah and super-high-sugar Limerick Lane Zinfandel).

So here is the setup on our frozen deck, in the midst of pressing. Temperatures soared to 28 degrees Fahrenheit, making the process somewhat bearable.

Wine was pressed and restored to original buckets for settling. I'll allow the gross lees to settle for a week, then pour off (rack) into carboys and inoculate for malolactic fermentation. My plan is to allow the bottles three or four weeks in room temperature before retreat to the cooler basement for aging.

At this point, a late arriving bucket of malbec has just been put to AMH and VQ15 yeast, the Limerick Lane zinfandel and Alexander Valley syrah continue fermentation.

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