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How pH effects color of wine

Last year I mentioned how beautiful the color of the wine/must was during fermentation. As you can see from this picture, it turned out a beautiful claret color. I my opinion, just beautiful. Now the pH of the grapes last year was 3.55-3.6.

If you want to read about the colors from last year, just visit this link:  Claret Wine Color

This year was a little different. With the extreme heat and over 44 days straight days over 100 (record breaker) the grapes were harvested about 10 days earlier than last year, the heat drove up the pH to 3.8 at harvest. It is also a record breaking drought here in Central Texas also, worst on record. This, combined with the heat the berries were all a little smaller than normal. For wine, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since it tends to concentrate the wine flavors coming off of the grapes.

All together, though, I think the greatest factor of the wine/must color is the pH. Here is a picture of the harvest of our estate Norton.

As you can see it is not quite as pretty a color. Replacing the bright violet/claret is a darker red. From what I have read, this is typical of late harvested grapes or grapes harvested with a high pH. It doesn’t effect the taste of the wine. But it does count a a point or two off because of the darker reds. Lets hope that the concentrated flavors and the spiciness from the heat will offset those couple of points.

 

 

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