- Sep 16, 2018
- Reaction score
Here's the story. The season is over. But, last week I bought an old manual destemmer that I found online. The next day I found an ad for grapes in the Niagara region. They said their grapes are still on the vine. I was surprised that in the middle of November there would still be grapes for sale and that they were still on the vine. I wanted to test out my destemmer machine before next fall so I ended up picking up 6 bushels (300lbs) of red Thompson grapes. To make a long story short, the destemmer worked fine. It didn't come with a stand so I just propped it up on two cement blocks. My plan was to de-stem the grapes and press right away. Once I filled the press basket and started to press I experienced something I've never experienced before. The skins were slipping out between the rib cage and slipping out above the top blocks and slipping out everywhere. It was impossible. Seems like the skins were slimy and too slippery. So I had to abandon the press entirely and threw everything into the fermentation barrel to ferment. My hope is that after fermentation the skins will lose their slipperiness and would be able to be pressed. But, I have a feeling that these grapes have been out on the vine for too long and have changed their composition to the point of no return. It's about 12C in the garage, the fermentation is going nice and slow, healthy cap, with a big fruity aroma, but along the way there is a funny smell in the garage that I've never experienced in wine making before - it smells like, dare I say it, rot? At this point I'm looking for some advice. I'm afraid of a few things. #1. That I won't be able to press these skins, that they won't lose their slipperiness. And, #2. I'm afraid that the whole thing starts to rot away on me. I'd appreciate any advice you guys can offer, thanks!