Chilean Plan 2018

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Harford are nice people to deal with as well but seems Gino Pinto is more full service. I may have to consider trying them myself even though they are quite a bit further away.

The fact that harford has a crush&destemming service for a fee is pretty fantastic for you guys tho. Plus the option to freeze your must before you pickup!
The amount of time that saves (plus price of equipment or rental equipment) is worth whatever the charge is. But at the same time, there is something special about doing all that work yourself- which I know you agree with.
 
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The fact that harford has a crush&destemming service for a fee is pretty fantastic for you guys tho. Plus the option to freeze your must before you pickup!
The amount of time that saves (plus price of equipment or rental equipment) is worth whatever the charge is. But at the same time, there is something special about doing all that work yourself- which I know you agree with.

Absolutely agree. This spring is actually making me feel like a winemaker.
 

JohnT

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I have been punching down in the morning and evening.
A definitive raft has finally formed last night marking the end of lag phase.
Added my second (of three) nutrient doses.
Brix is now at 21 and the temps have warmed up to 70 degrees.
Color extraction looks great at this point.

Progressing nicely.
 

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Temp up to 80 degrees this morning. Really starting to cook now. Brix down to 16.
 

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Saturday morning the must was at 80 degrees with only 1 brix remaining. Time to press!

You all know the drill.. Scoop off the cap (or raft) of skins into the press, pump the free run into the tank using a cylindrical colander (while the free run is trickling out of the press), then (when the free run is down to a trickle) close up the press and give her a squeeze. (hmmm I think that will be my new signature)

Here are some pics of the free run coming out of the press.
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In this one you can see how I am also pumping out the free run juice....
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After applying some pressure (10 bars), and the flow of wine is down to just a trickle, it is time to fork it (open up the press and stir the skins with a large two pronged fork). I did this 2 times.

A moment about my dad. He worked very hard for his money and, coming from a European farming family, always tried to get the absolute most out of things. I have a picture of him pressing some grapes several years ago. Back then, all we had was a 5 gallon ratchet press, and he had slipped 6 foot pipe over the crank to get enough leverage to squeeze every last drop he could. When he was done, the hard pack in the press was more dust than skins. We used to joke that you could simply blow on the skins and they would fly away like a dandelion. Dear old Dad!

IMHO, when you get down to that much pressure the resulting wine is WAY too tannic to drink. I always made sure that the "Dad squeezings" was kept separate from the free run/light pressings. I also made sure that Dad got to take the hard squeezings wine home.

Now my older brother tends to be impatient when it comes to pressing. I keep reminding him of what grandpa always used to say... "Pressure and time is how you make diamonds". I found that I could stall him in breaking down the press, but in the end we would always break down the press while the skins are still rather damp. Stalling my brother has been an ongoing joke for years.

Being alone to press (everybody had plans) I had all the time in the world and no older brother. So at the tail end I gradually upped the pressure. I finally stopped at 300 bars and kept it there for a good hour. I ended up filling a carboy and 2 half gallon jugs with the hard pressings.

While waiting, I though of dad and how he must be laughing his butt off up in heaven. I miss him so much!

This was when my Niece and her husband showed up. They had a lot of plans for the day, but drove the 45 minutes to see if I needed any help. I love these two! Since I was down to simply waiting on the press they could only kept me company (and do a little sampling of the GOOD STUFF).

Here are the after pictures. Keep in mind that this is what remained of 972 pounds of grapes....

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Better pic (while I was breaking down the hard pack). This is what I call a DRY hard pack! This is what I call Sahara dry!

From here the skins go on the compost pile for next year's garden..

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Finally, it was time for the hardest task. It was time to get everything washed, and put away.
Once done, I finally sat down and went to work on a bottle of my 2015 reserve. YUMMY!

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All in all, it was a fun spring crush. Now to enjoy my summer before worrying about the fall crush!
 

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This year, I decided to try something slightly different. For this Chilean, I am I am leaving the wine on the gross lees for 3 weeks (instead of 2 day as is the norm for me) through all of MLF.

The goal is to boost the yeast flavors in the wine. I have bee checking for any tell tale signs of H2S or other off aromas or flavors. So far, the wine tastes great with a very nice bouquet. I am going to do another chromatography test tonight and, if MLF is complete, will rack off the gross lees this weekend.

I will let you all know how it goes.
 
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This year, I decided to try something slightly different. For this Chilean, I am I am leaving the wine on the gross lees for 3 weeks (instead of 2 day as is the norm for me) through all of MLF.

The goal is to boost the yeast flavors in the wine. I have bee checking for any tell tale signs of H2S or other off aromas or flavors. So far, the wine tastes great with a very nice bouquet. I am going to do another chromatography test tonight and, if MLF is complete, will rack off the gross lees this weekend.

I will let you all know how it goes.

Pretty cool. Anxious to hear your thoughts on the results.
This is something definitely on my list of things I’d like to improve on: being able to detect H2S and off smells confidently. I’m still not even sure I’ve smelled h2s before. I’m sure I’ll get a good whiff if I keep making enough!
 

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I racked yesterday. The wine is deep and dark. Aroma and taste is right there. Still have a bit to go with mlf, but progressing nicely.

PH is at 3.45. nice!

Before lidding up, I added in 1 pound of xov oak slats as an initial oaking. I will replace this oak with another pound at the next racking.
 
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I racked yesterday. The wine is deep and dark. Aroma and taste is right there. Still have a bit to go with mlf, but progressing nicely.

PH is at 3.45. nice!

Before lidding up, I added in 1 pound of xov oak slats as an initial oaking. I will replace this oak with another pound at the next racking.

1 lb xov stave slats to how much wine??
If I’m not mistaken I may have some of these exact same stave segments. :) I’m just a couple weeks ahead of you- but still not racked- just letting MLF continue and whatnot. (Still seeing activity. Haven’t tested a 2nd time yet). Thinking I’ll steal this idea and drop in some xov slats myself!
 
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