Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Chewing up Sugar"....

"Chewing up the sugar"
7:07 AM Aug. 30, 2008 - 0 comments - [ post comment ]

I am in a bit of limbo at the moment.. Estate Zin is in, but the brix readings in many vineyards are almost ready to go. Here in the Livermore valley, every winery has been praying that crush holds off till after Labor Day weekend. This is because each year Livermore hosts it's biggest wine event over the labor day weekend. The Livermore Harvest Festival has crowds of people travelling among the wineries. Great event for wine lovers.... Bad timing for wineries. Outside of the biggest wineries, which have event coordinators and are large enough facilities to keep the crowds away from the crushpad, it is a ton of work and commitment in time to participate in the event at the same time you need all hands on deck for harvest. It is though, "what it is" and you manage to get thru it..
The good news is that the Chardonnay & Pinot which are among the first each year to be harvested, will make it thru the weekend. One, last weekend to relax before it is gets crazy. The monthly newsletter is done so that I don't need to worry about that later on.
The fermentation process for the Zin has begun. After an initial coak soak, the fermentation is now under way. This is the process of the yeast cells, consuming the sugars in the grape must and then converting them to alcohol. During this process, the brix levels, which in the vineyard you are monitoring as they increase, you are now watching go in the opposite direction, as the yeast consumes the sugars. This along with temperatures are closely monitored to keep the little yeast cells happy as the take the must "to dry". The winemaker needs to insure that things are not too hot, not too cold so as to keep the fermentation chugging along.

Next Blog... " In from the Vineyard"

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