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Frontenac Grape Recipe

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midwestwine

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Has any one made wine from Frontenac grapes and have a good recipe -what yeast used,how long to keep the skins in and did you do mlf
 

grapeman

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I don't have what you call a recipe, but I made 160 gallons of it last year and should double that this year. My yeast of choice for it is Lalvin 71B-1122 or Red Star RC-212. 71B eats up some of the acid making it easier to start malo when it is time. Use straight juice at around 25-26 brix and hopefully TA under 1.4 g/L which isn't always possible. Ferment on the skins for 7-10 days until almost dry and press. I innoculate at that time and find Lalvin MBR-31 to be a good fit. It will work with a bit higher acid than most and imparts a lot of vanilla. Feed the mlb and stir every few days. By the way- do not add k-meta after a small initial dose right after crush and let it sit for 24 hours then pitch the yeast. This is so you can do a malolactic fermentation on it.

You can add a bit of interest with a nice light oaking, and many people like this one slightly sweetened, but don't use sorbate after the mlf. If you can't sterile filter, forget sweetening. Another option is to fortify it and make a port style wine with it.

Good luck and have fun with it.
 

Racer

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Grapeman have you found 71B-1122 to contribute anything to the wine or does it seem to be a "neutral" yeast regarding flavor/aroma. I'm looking to try and work with some different yeasts to help tame some of the high acidity in frontenac gris and la crescent that I have growing.
 

winemaker_3352

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It does tend to give more of a fruity aroma.

I made 2 strawberry batches - one used Lavlin D47 the other Lavlin 71B 1122 - and i could definitely tell a difference in the aromas during fermentation.
 

grapeman

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I agree with winemaker. It does tend to bring out fruitiness and I find Frontenac has quite a bit of it along with other things, so why not bring it out more?
 

Fuegofan

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Hello,

I'm a complete novice in the process of making my first wine, which is with Frontenac grapes. It's going well so far, though the speed has taken me by surprise. Harvest was September 4. Crushing/destemming happened September 5. At that time some potassium metabisulfite was added. The Brix were at 24. I got it home. By that evening, for some unknown reason, it had already started bubbling, so I got my RC-212 going and added it in the morning. By September 9 the Brix were down to 8 or 10, if memory serves, so I added the Leoconostoc. By September 11 I could hardly detect bubbling, so on the morning of the 12th I pressed it into carboys. Indeed, the Brix are now at about 2, specific gravity at 1.006. Now I´m looking at the future and thinking, when does the oaking happen? I've bought oak chips, but do they get added before, during, or after cold stabilization?

Thanks!
 

Racer

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Oaking the wine can be done at anytime during the wine making process. It will make a difference though depending on when you add the oak. If it's put in at the start the oak will be less pronounced (or more integrated in the wine). If the oak is added later in the process or added during aging you will more easily smell and taste the oak.
 

Fuegofan

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Thanks, Racer.

I've added the oak now, during the secondary fermentation. After two weeks, the 6.5 gallons of wine taste/feel a bit buttery, which I must admit is a little weird. It's still pretty tart. I'm thinking of leaving the oak in for another two weeks before racking it off the lees and putting it in the basement for the winter.
 

countrygirl

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i'd like t revive this post for two reasons...i'd like to know how this wine has turned out
and
i'd also like to ask grapeman about his trellis system for frontenac.
i read a minnesota blog (or whatever it was, lol) about one style of system having less acid? i still have alot to learn about trellis systems. thanks for any info
 

grapeman

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Standard conventional wisdom says the vertical shoot positioning is best fro Frontenac and most academics agree with that. That way you can get more light to the grapes for higher suagars and lower acids. Do I agree? Well not necessarily.......

After two years of trials in my vineyard, I find the Frontenac to yield higher and have better grapes using a 4 arm kniffen than VSP. Yields can be substantially higher, sugars equal or higher and acid levels lower. It also requires less labor to attain that.

Are these results conclusive? No, but it should help you realize there is more than one way to do things. The important thing is to maintain a state of open canopy with clusters helping to balance vigor. To see the reports for these two years of trial, go to my website and then the research tab on the menu. There are even some videos that will help you see more of the results for this year.

www.hipvineyard.com
 

AlFulchino

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this variety is so vigorous that you can easily use a 4 arm system...i use scott henry trellis..loads of fruit...the four arms on my site help control it some but i still had to hedge 3x......last yr we had so much heat that acid and ph were terrific as as flavor profile and brix......i use this as a primary grape in one of my blends....it came out outstanding

also in two yrs thus far i have not had to put thru mlf ( for what it is worth) and i used native yeast....med toast am oak....give it nine months minimum in the barrel..stabilize appropriately along the way...monitor the flavor profile....leave alone or blend if you want other flavors

the wine sold out in its innaugaral vintage 2009
 
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midwestwine

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Mlf was completed about a month ago and is sitting in a carboy aging. Tastes ok but needs a lot more time.
 

countrygirl

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thanks for quick info! i find myself fascinated with grape varietals, but my lack of knowledge is frustrating. i will check ur websites, too. i loved visiting the vineyard in missouri last year. i have made a couple of connections locally since then, but now i have to be patient for good weather to start visiting!!
 

Fuegofan

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My wine is progressing nicely. To quickly update with dates, September 19 was when I added 4 ounces of American oak chips to the 6.5 gallon carboy. I had a 750 mL bottle also, but didn't add oak to that one.

October 24 I racked the wine off the lees, filling a 5 gallon carboy and a 1.5 L bottle, and drank the 2 full glasses that were left over. :) The wine in the little bottle was cloudier than the carboy wine. The carboy wine was less fruity, drier, and clearer than the non-oaked wine, but both were still a bit sour. Specific gravity was 1.0000. I moved the 5 gal carboy and the 1.5 L bottle to my basement. Four days later the temperature of the carboy was 66 degrees fahrenheit (upstairs it had been in the 70s). By December the temp had dropped to 58 degrees F.

January 3 I moved the carboy to the garage, which stayed between 35 and 28 F. The 1.5 L looked like it had sparklies on the bottom of it, so I just left it in the basement.

January 17 I chilled the 1.5 L in 32 degree weather for about 8 hours. I moved everything back to the basement for a while, then racked the wine into a new 5 gal carboy and filled two 750 mL bottles. Lots of sediment was left in both carboy and bottle. When I sampled it was about 42 degrees F, so very cold, and tasted carbonated. The sourness had gone down dramatically. I left the carboy and one bottle in the basement, then took the other bottle with me to dinner. Two hours later, warmer, having sat, the wine was MUCH better. The CO2 had worked its way out and was no longer noticeable. Some bitterness went with it. I think the wine is now delightful. It's young and sprightly on the mouth. One person said it's very grapey. Another person said he could taste the development of berry flavors. I find a flavor that I can't really name other than calling it a distinctive Frontenac flavor. It has some complexity, but it's mostly a straightforward wine. It paired nicely with food and is great by itself. But I'm a bit of a biased proud pappa I'm sure.
 

countrygirl

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oh, fuegofan, it sounds awesome! i assume your "sparklies" were wine diamonds?? i'm sure this will age to perfection!
 

Fuegofan

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I've never had a confirmed sighting of wine diamonds by an expert, but I'm guessing so. Thanks.
 

AlFulchino

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Fuegofan....sample this at a true room temp....68-74.....see if the acidity is ok....you stated you placed it outside for eight hours for what i assume was your effort at cold stabilization to reduce acidity....typically this is not long enough to drop any serious acid...since i did not see any acid numbers for when you started, you have me curious now.....either you got great grapes ( which would be super!!!) with perhaps a long hot growing season in your area? and the acidity dropped, which usually does not occur in normal conditions w this grape...OR when you test at room temp you may detect more acidity than you did w the lower temp sampling

just curious here...
 

Fuegofan

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AlFuchino--Actually, the 5 gallon carboy was at 32 F for two weeks, only the 1.5 L bottle was out for 8 hours, and it already had what may have been wine diamonds in it, so I think it had already precipitated. On Sept 7 the TA was 1.125. No idea what it is now. It has gotten much less sour over the months. The grapes were grown in northern Indiana, near the Indiana Dunes, which did have a long, hot summer. For better or for worse, they stayed on the vine a week or so longer than the grower wanted (he couldn't get the help when he needed to harvest). I think that the acid is finally low enough that it won't be an issue when we bottle it, since it already went great with dinner.
 

countrygirl

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AlFuchino--Actually, the 5 gallon carboy was at 32 F for two weeks, only the 1.5 L bottle was out for 8 hours, and it already had what may have been wine diamonds in it, so I think it had already precipitated.
since i've learned smaller vessels can ferment faster, would they also precipitate acid faster? just wondering.
 

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