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Beautiful Wine Colors – Punching Down Cap 2010

Well, with the grape must fermenting, it means its time to punch down the cap a few times a day. I just love this part of the wine making process. I find it fascinating watching the deep purple and claret colors developing over time. No matter how old this wine gets, the color will never be as strong and beautiful as it is right now. This is why I just love punching down the must. Every day the colors keep growing darker, more pronounced, and more vibrant. Here you can see the color Norton must as it sits at 15 Brix. The dark redish lines are yeast and grape pulp. The color of the future wine is just outside of those dark lines. I would classify that a nice claret color. I hope the picture does it justice. Over the next several days, it will continue to develop as the pigments in the grape skins slowly lose their hold and get released into the wine.

This batch of Norton wine I am fermenting at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The last batch was set around 75 and I wanted to compare fermenting at different temperatures using the same yeast. At this higher temperature, the must is fermenting quite fast, too fast in my opinion, but I am going to let it run its course. This wine will be eventually blended with the a little of our estate Shiraz (less than 25%) to help lower its high acidity. I try to use as little chemicals as possible, but in this case, we did add some Calcium Carbonate which is a naturally occurring mineral in rock also the main ingredient in chalk and tums, to bring down the TA (total acidity) to 0.9% from 1.1%. The malolactic fermentation it will under go in a week, will bring it down further to around .80, and then blending will bring it to .7o-.75%.

In other news, we are still slowly working on the wine cellar, and I will have some updated pictures this weekend.

Also, in the next couple of weeks, the surveyor is supposed to come out and layout the foundation where the new wine tasting room will be going. I can’t wait. The building should go up in oct/nov.

That’s all for now.

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