Making My first Finger Lakes Wine - Catawba

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Pumpkinman

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This is my first Finger Lakes wine, I was able to get 12 gallons of Catawba from our favorite NYS winery that purchased several totes from the Finger Lakes, somewhere Near Senaca lake I believe.

I was aware of the higher acidity in colder climate grapes such as the Finger Lakes, but I was shocked to see that this beautiful pink juice with wonderful floral aroma had a TA of 9.4!!! It came in at 17 Brix and the PH was 3.21.

Although I had several options to reduce the acidity levels, I chose to leave it as is; I chose to ferment with 71B-1122 due to its ability to metabolize high amounts (20% to 40%) of malic acid, and to produce a fruity yet fresh character.
I'm fermenting at the lower end of the temperature tolerance for this yeast to try to retain the flavors and aromas that can range from soft peach, strawberry, hint of raspberry, and I've even heard a few people in the tasting room mention cotton candy.

I hydrated using Go-ferm protect, I added Fermaid O and yeast hulls applied during the lag phase.
This is by far the strongest fermentation that I've had, at one point, or I should say for a 36 hr period, the airlock did not stop, there was literally no pause between co2 coming through the airlock.

I sampled the wine last night before adding the second application of Fermaid, this time Fermaid K, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much it had softened.

I plan on sweetening just enough to soften it if needed, and I plan on making a case of sparkling wine from it, using Bzacs 2 week sparkling wine method.
 

salcoco

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A TA of 9 or better is not necessarily high for a white wine. Taste is always the best measurement, wait until it has settled and clarified ant then taste your results.
 

Pumpkinman

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Absolutely, this wine will clarify naturally, it has plenty of time, I'm in no hurry.
 

grapeman

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A TA of 9.4 is outstanding for Catawba. It is most often enjoyed a bit sweet so you need the bit more acid to balance with the sweetness. Keep us filled in on your progress.
 

Pumpkinman

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Perfect! I was hoping that you would see this post and give me some direction!
Thanks!
 

FL Steve

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I have never been a big fan of Catawba. It is, as you say, fresh and fruity. I have always been amazed at the way it makes you salivate when you take a mouthful, the acidity and aroma really get the taste buds going. It makes a decent sparkling wine also. I have a few vines and always put up a few gallons for my dad, he is 90 and says it stimulates his appetite.
 

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