Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Burnt Plastic & Fuchsia Wines

This morning I walked into the barrel room to find all of the doors open and huge fans blowing, turns out our heater melted overnight and which was a "nice" surprise for Stephen... We had a great bouquet of burnt plastic in the barrel room for part of the day, but the giant industrial fans helped take care of the issue...

After dealing with that, we de-stemmed more of the Cabernet Franc and we are planning on using this batch for our Rosé. We were up in the air about making one this year, but with the amount of Cabernet Franc grapes that were produced we figured we might as well make one. I am excited to see how this will be created. There are three major ways to make a Rosé, each of which require different times during fermentation, contact with skins, and blending. I'll be sure to talk to Stephen and find out how we are planning to make this wine and whether we are going to make a dry or off-dry Rosé. I believe we have only done one other Rosé in Keswick Vineyards history so I am excited to see how it goes!

The boys also had a lot of work to do with the whites today. As I mentioned earlier, the whites are finished and are now aging in the barrels. We do a few different things in order to keep them in tip-top shape... The first thing is to sulfur all of the wine in the barrels. Sulfur acts as an agent to keep wine from oxidizing as well as keep away the influence of bacteria. If this is not done, wine has a greater potential for spoiling, or turning to vinegar. The other thing we did to the white wines was to rack the wines off the dead lees. While the wine is aging, the lees settle to the bottom of the barrel and basically racking off the wine is done by using a hose to "vacuum out" the wine on the top of the barrel, leaving a bit of wine and the lees behind. 

One last thing to mention, the 2009 Touriga. It is completely done fermenting and it blows me away how quickly this all happens. On Saturday when I tried the partially fermented wine, it was rather sweet and just a mere three days later it is a full fledged wine. It is very fruit forward right now and it is almost fuchsia in color. But don't be expecting a bright pink wine next year, Stephen said that as it ages it will become a much darker wine!

Bouquet - classy wine terminology for the smell of wine
dead lees - inactive yeast

1 comment:

  1. Stephen brought home some of the 2009 Touriga last night- delicious!