Norton Pressing – 2010

We pressed the Norton wine today. It is always nice when family comes over and wants to help. Here you can see my daughter and little James helping with the press.

We were able to get a full 15 gallons from the Norton grape harvest this year. We put it all in a 15 gallon demi-john and it is sitting at 70 degrees now for the Malolactic fermentation to finish up. What was really nice is that having the slightly higher temperatures and the lower pH all but completely removed the hydrogen sulfide gas that we got last year fermenting at a slower and lower temperature. And the color is just fabulous.

The Shiraz and Viognier grapes received their first raking today. The Shiraz harvest we also put into a 15 gallon demi-john and into 3 one gallon jugs. The Viognier grapes was racked down to 4 gallons. These we added potassium metabisulfite (Meta) to raise the Free SO2 to around 30 ppm. I did not add any fining agents at this time because last year’s wine came brilliantly clear after about 8 months in the cellar. So I will do a second raking around Christmas and see how it is going. I may decide to add some then when I cold stabilize the wine. This basically involves adding some Bentonite clay and letting it settle for a couple of weeks.

All in all, I am very pleased with how the wine is turning out this year. Perhaps it is because the vines are stronger and were able to more fully ripen the grapes, or perhaps it is because the weather has been very kind at letting the grapes get some sun and just enough rain to keep them happy. At any rate, the wine is coming along quite nicely at this very early stage.

Also, I am happy to say that the new wine is now sitting in the new wine cellar. I need to take some updated pictures, of it. All of the walls are now done, and still needs the floor and wine racks installed. This will have to wait until its a little cooler out side as working in the 105 degree sun is not my cup of tea. This will let me get an idea of how efficient the room will be without the floor insulated until we can work on it again in a month or so. I want to have it completely finished by next summer when I start bottling all of this wine.

Recovered Comments from before the site crash:

  • Rick

    Jeff, you mentioned that you had the 15 gallon demi-john sitting at 70 degrees now for the Malolactic fermentation to finish up. Did you go directly from the normal fermentaion with your RC 212 Lavin to adding a malolactic bacteria starter? I will be picking some Kansas Nortons Sunday and would like to follow your lead.


  • Jeff Beavers

    Yes, directly after pressing, I added the malo starter. It really depends on the malo starter that you use, as some are to be added after fermentation, and some are supposed to be added during fermentation. Read up on the specific type you bought. That said, most can be added after fermentation just fine. The idea is that if you add it during the later part of fermentation, it can use some of the nutrients to help get it going. But on the same token, they also say that to get a good dry fermentation, to do the malo afterwards so that the yeast can use all the nutrients it needs. I would say that majority of people do it after, and that is what I followed.

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