Marquette, Petite Pearl, and Verona… Oh My!

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ChuckD

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A long day today but so worth it! I made a road trip to help @Vern harvest the last of his petite Pearl grapes.
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We picked and crushed over 300 lbs from 16 vines. Vern was incredibly generous and sent me home with plenty of freshly crushed Petite Pearl and a few buckets of frozen Marquette and Verona… as well as a few bottles of his finest.

My vineyard won’t be producing for a few years yet. This will allow me to practice my craft in advance.

Here’s a shot of the final haul
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I really enjoyed your company. Thanks so much for your help.
Any time. The whole process was enlightening. I can read about it, but “doing”really cements it for me.

I was surprised how quickly the harvest and crush was accomplished. Sure it was only 16 vines but my layout will be similar… four varieties with 12 to 25 vines of each. If they ripen at different rates it won’t be too much work for a retired couple and a few wine-loving friends.

I’ll be pitching yeast on the Pearl today. The others need to warm up a little.
 
Those grapes Look wonderful! What is the petite pearl closest to in taste? I have heard they do well in the Midwest, but I haven't tasted them yet!
 
My basement is so cold I had to move them into the unused basement bathroom and plug in the oil filled heater. They are still at 62 degrees. Hopefully I can hit 70 by tomorrow morning and pitch the yeast.
My fall wines ferment in my basement -- 62 to 67 F is typical. I rarely have problems, even with dumping the yeast on top. With an overnight starter, I can smell fermentation in about 6 hours.
 
In Montana fall can come early - so that means chilly nights. I used my garage for fermentation area. to keep things warm, i made an incubator with 2" foam insulation boards. i just cut them up and put them together with duct tape including a hinged front panel so i could roll fermenters in and out onfurniture dollies. for heat i simple used three 60 watt incandescent bulbs controlled with inkbird temp controller. alwasy worked the nuts. hope this is of some help.
 
In Montana fall can come early - so that means chilly nights. I used my garage for fermentation area. to keep things warm, i made an incubator with 2" foam insulation boards. i just cut them up and put them together with duct tape including a hinged front panel so i could roll fermenters in and out onfurniture dollies. for heat i simple used three 60 watt incandescent bulbs controlled with inkbird temp controller. alwasy worked the nuts. hope this is of some help.
The bathroom works for now. I have a small addition planned for the house and the new basement space will be my wine lab. I’ll probably build a more permanent fermentation space like you describe.
 
The Petite Pearl and Marquette were right where they should be re: pH and Brix. The Verona had a Brix of 18 so I checked an online chapitalization calculator and added 4 lbs of sugar.

When adding sugar should I calculate the addition according to the must volume (about 8 gallons) or the expected pressed volume (5 gallons)?
 
Calculate to must volume and then recheck brix/SG after adding

Thanks. I used the must volume.

I tried to check it just now. I needed to push a strainer down into the must to get some liquid but it was still so thick I can’t get a good reading with the hydrometer. Tomorrow I’ll try my refractometer.
 
Thanks. I used the must volume.

I tried to check it just now. I needed to push a strainer down into the must to get some liquid but it was still so thick I can’t get a good reading with the hydrometer. Tomorrow I’ll try my refractometer.
Last night I checked the Verona SG with the hydrometer and it was only 1.074 (18.5 Brix). This is two days into a very active ferment. I don’t believe 4lbs of sugar only raised the Brix by 1.5 points so I’m going to assume I hit somewhere near the 23.5 target and leave it at that. I’ll check all the wine numbers tonight and pitch the MLF packets.
 
@countygrapeguy
All the grapes were from @Vern ’s vineyard… but I believe yes. I think they were harvested early to salvage a crop.

I received the Marquette and Verona as crushed and frozen grapes
Ah, yeah I see @Vern 's post about this.

Tom Ploucher's website has something to try for next year: `One promising solution being explored is the application of calcium foliar nutrients, immediately pre-bloom and during berry development and maturation, to toughen the berry skins`
 
Ah, yeah I see @Vern 's post about this.

Tom Ploucher's website has something to try for next year: `One promising solution being explored is the application of calcium foliar nutrients, immediately pre-bloom and during berry development and maturation, to toughen the berry skins`
I did spray calcium this year, however all applications were after berries were 1/4" as recommended by a vegetable expert . However the 4" rain still caused splitting on the Verona and very little on the Marquette and Petite. Next season I will apply sooner and at a 10 day intervals. Hopefully this will work.
 

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