UK Pinot Noir 2019

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by bathman, Sep 22, 2019.

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  1. Sep 22, 2019 #1

    bathman

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    I've been making wine from imported Italian grapes the past couple of years, but managed to secure some English Pinot Noir grapes for this years wine making. I will be picking them up on the day of harvest so will be nice and fresh - never really sure how long the Italian grapes have been hanging around since harvesting, but probably a good week.

    I'm getting 250kg (550 of your pounds), the main reason I am upscaling so much from last year is I want to make a variety of wines and with slightly different approaches to see what works best, basically doing trials. Not cheap as the grapes go for £2,000/tonne - about $1.12/lb, not sure how that compares to what you pay over here?

    The majority of Pinot Noir over here tends to go into sparkling and Rose wine as sugar/acid balance suits these styles of wines. To a lesser extent Red wine is also made, but the quality can be variable, although in hot years you can get some really good Red here (like in the 2018 vintage). My plan is to make 8 individual 23L (5 gallon) batches as follows:

    Red 1 - RC212
    Red 2 - BM45
    Red 3 - RC212, extended time on lees
    Red 4 - RC212, extended maceration
    Rose 1 - 71B
    Rose 2 - ICV-D47
    Pet Nat Rose 1 - 71B
    Pet Nat Rose 2 - ICV-D47

    The grapes for all batches will be cold soaked together for 2-5 days (depending on day of harvest) at 2-5Deg C (35-40F). The Rose and Pet Nat will all be pressed immediately prior to fermenting in glass carboys. Reds will be fermented on the skins (possibly with the addition of the discarded Rose skins) in buckets/tanks. All ferments will be temperature controlled with a DIY glycol system (and kept at relatively low fermentation temperatures) with a combination of Cool Zone jackets (for the carboys) and chiller coils for the Reds.

    Will add some more details and photos when I get underway - unlikely to be harvesting the grapes till 3rd week October. If anyone has any other thoughts on how I'm going about the trials or any

    For now, just a pic of my Saint Laurent grapes growing in the garden which I also intend to do a very small wine batch from, expect to pick in 2 weeks.

    IMG_20190921_164707.jpg
     
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  2. Sep 22, 2019 #2

    Boatboy24

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    Sounds like a good plan to me. It'll be really interesting to see what is good and bad from the various changes. For my taste, I would most likely dump those used Rose skins back in with the rest of the must.
     
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  3. Oct 4, 2019 #3

    bathman

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    Still a week or so away from picking up grapes and getting the winemaking room prepared, so thought I would share pics of some of this seasons setup.

    I want to cold soak the grapes and also control fermentation temperature this year so have invested in a DIY chiller setup. I have two 170 litre food grade tanks with a 15m stainless steel chiller coil in. These will be linked to submersible pumps in a small freezer with 25 litres of glycol in (the non-toxic type). Planning to use Inkbird temperature controllers to control it all. For the cold soak will be aiming to achieve 5 - 10 Deg. C (40 - 50F) but will depend how good my setup is to achieve that. I will also use a temperature controller to switch the freezer itself on and off in order to keep the gycol at around -5 Deg.C (23F).

    My main dilemma at the moment to solve is how to get the chiller tubes in and out of the freezer. Currently think my only option is to drill holes through the top of the freezer (I think the sides contain the cooling plates) and leave enough slack in the tubes so that I can open and close the freezer.

    Pics below (still have a bit of work to do to tidy the wine room), any tips from anyone who has done anything similar would be appreciated!

    IMG_20191004_161123.jpg IMG_20191004_161136.jpg IMG_20191004_161155.jpg IMG_20191004_161622.jpg IMG_20191004_161644.jpg
     
  4. Oct 4, 2019 #4

    sour_grapes

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    What some people do to get the tubes in/out is to build a "rim" out of, say, wood, that raises the lid of the fridge up ~10 cm. Then route the tubes through the rim.
     
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  5. Oct 13, 2019 #5

    bathman

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    Have been trialling in the DIY chiller this week. It does the job of getting a tank full of water down to 4 Deg.C (40F), my only concern is the compressor is constantly working to try and lower the freezer temperature, which isn't really how it is designed to operate. Will keep an eye on it but not sure how this will affect the lifespan of the freezer putting the compressor under so much strain.

    I am having to change my approach to wine making this season. Weather has been awful down here, it is always a struggle ripening Pinot Noir in the UK but my grape supplier has suggested I look elsewhere for grapes as none of his are ripening - he plans to hold out harvest till end of October if he can keep disease away.

    I have found another source of Pinot Noir grapes which are being harvested next weekend, however this have been grown for sparkling wine (as are most in the UK) which means they are very high acid and low sugar. Last weeks readings were TA 14g/L and 17 Brix; fine for sparkling but no good for still red wine.

    So planning instead to make a white, rose and red sparkling wine from the grapes (both traditional method and pet nat style), and will also attempt one small batch of red wine which I will try some fairly major acid reduction on. No idea how any of this will turn out, never tried sparkling wine before!
     
  6. Oct 13, 2019 #6

    CDrew

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    Good luck Bathman! Mabe a few more years of global warming and south England will become a premier wine area.

    Any other grape varieties grown there?
     
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  7. Oct 19, 2019 #7

    bathman

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    Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier probably covers 50%+ of grapes grown (for English sparkling).

    A lot of Bacchus if grown here, which has become a traditional white English wine that most vineyards grow.

    You then get some grapes like Regent and Rondo that tend to ripen enough to make red wine. Your usual French and Californian black grapes just wouldn't ripen very well over here (at the moment).
     
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  8. Nov 7, 2019 #8

    bathman

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    Picked up 250kg of Pinot Noir nearly a week ago and only just finding the time to give an update as been busy every night racking, pressing and cleaning!

    The grapes were not particularly good quality - very low sugar (15 Brix), battered and bruised from 6 weeks of wind and rain and some grey rot setting in. But I did get them cut price and fingers crossed I can turn out something drinkable. One of the most difficult crops the vineyard has had for many years. The grapes are grown for sparkling so low sugar is expected, but normally at least at 17 Brix.

    On a positive even if it doesn't turn out great, it at least gives me some experience in dealing with larger quantities of grapes, trialling temperature control of fermentation, and making Rose and sparkling wine for the first time.

    So my processing looked liked this:

    For what was meant to be a 'blanc de noir' wine, I did whole bunch pressing to fill a 23L DJ and sulphited at 50ppm, left over night to settle and racked off the solids next day. Added sugar to bring to ~17.5 Brix (should just hit 10% abv with that) and pitched Lalvin 71B yeast. Now on day 5 and fermenting well and down at 14 Brix (I will test with hydrometer towards the end of fermentation). This will be used for Pet Nat style and traditional method sparkling wine.

    For the Rose base wine I crushed grapes (didn't de-stem), sulphited and cold soaked in a tank at 9 Deg. C (48F) for 36 hours then pressed and filled two 23L DJs. Again, let them settle over night, racked off the solids, added sugar to 17.5 Brix and pitched Lalvin D47 in both. On day 4 fermenting and down at 15 Brix. This will be used for Pet Nat style, traditional method sparkling and still Rose wine.

    For the Red based wine, crushed and cold soaked again for 4 days then brought up to temperature, added sugar to 17.5 Brix and pitched Lalvin W15 yeast. Also added all the pressed grapes from the 'blanc de noir' into this tank. On day 3 fermenting well, down at 11 Brix already. Temp has spiked today at 26.5C (80F), putting chiller on now to try and maintain temperature closer to 20C for the rest of fermentation. Have been pressing 1 basket of skins and returning the juice each night to avoid too much skin contact. This will also all be used for sparkling - no good for still red.

    What I have learnt so far and plan to change for next year...

    • Get better grapes! Not happy that I had to add sugar, but it was either that or end up with a very weak wine.
    • Get a destemmer
    • Leave enough headspace in the DJ for fermenting - got home to find my BDN had erupted out through the air lock!
    • Come up with a better plan of moving must from large tanks (I had no real plan!) into the press/fermentation vessel.
    • DIY glycol chiller works well - brought temp in two tanks down to 9 Deg. C, and also just dropped my fermenting red tank from 26C to 17C in 15 minutes, so definitely able to maintain lower fermentation temperatures.
    • Get inert gas to protect grapes during cold soaking, allowing a longer cold soak
    • If I want to do a 'blank de noir' make sure I press straight away - I think a combination of the grapes being in poor condition and being left 24 hours before pressing meant I ended up with a very light Rose.

    Some pics:

    The grapes
    IMG_20191101_201234.jpg

    Red tank with chillers
    IMG_20191103_082348.jpg

    The chiller coils actually worked as a useful way to collect the free-run
    IMG_20191103_151021.jpg

    The Rose day 1
    IMG_20191103_162508.jpg

    Settling of the solids before racking
    IMG_20191103_174051.jpg

    Rose in air-lock after eruption
    IMG_20191106_173312.jpg

    Rose (big difference in colour between whole bunch pressed and crushed/cold soaked)
    IMG_20191107_175712.jpg
     
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  9. Nov 7, 2019 #9

    bshef

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    Good luck! Where are you in the UK? I’m headed there in March - North Yorkshire and Cornwall.
    White Pinot Noir is wonderful.
    I’ve heard Dorenfelder is grown in the UK?
     
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  10. Nov 9, 2019 at 7:36 AM #10

    bathman

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    I'm in Bath in the South West. Cornwall has some great vineyards if you get a chance to visit - Camel Valley in particular does great wines. Dornfelder is grown a little bit over here but I wouldn't say it is a particularly popular commercial grape, I don't see many places growing it in the vineyards I visit
     
  11. Nov 9, 2019 at 12:24 PM #11

    bshef

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    We visited Bath in October 2016; just the Baths and city centre. We’ll have a car in Cornwall so I hope to visit some vineyards. I’m starting a small potentially commercial vineyard so maybe part of my vineyard tour will be a business expense.
     
  12. Nov 11, 2019 at 8:14 PM #12

    bathman

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    In an attempt to stop fermentation in a vessel of red wine (so that I can bottle it and finishing primary in the bottle) I dropped the temperature - it has been at 3DegC (37F) for 48 hours but it is still bubbling away! Not sure I can get the temp much lower without risking freezing it. I'm using Lalvin W15 which does have a range down to 10DegC, has anyone seen yeast fermenting at this low a temperature before?

    IMG_20191110_130524.jpg
     
  13. Nov 11, 2019 at 9:31 PM #13

    cmason1957

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    If the advertised range is down to 10 Deg C, you can almost rest assured that there are a handful of really hardy yeast buds that will work down to about -10 Deg C (and yes, I am exaggerating). But there are almost always a few outliers that will work outside the boundaries, either with regard to temps or alcohol or SO2 tolerance.
     
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  14. Nov 11, 2019 at 9:59 PM #14

    stickman

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    I would think at 3C it should eventually coast down and stop. If you haven't already, you definitely need to wrap the carboy, including the bottom, with some insulation.
     
  15. Nov 11, 2019 at 10:48 PM #15

    mainshipfred

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    Unless I'm missing the point that sounds scary to me. What happens when the temps start to rise again, won't the fermentation restart?
     
  16. Nov 12, 2019 at 2:52 AM #16

    stickman

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    I think that's the point, he's looking to get some sparkle from what I can tell.
     
  17. Nov 12, 2019 at 5:25 AM #17

    sour_grapes

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    Yes, please clarify: I assume this is for the pet-nat experiment, yes?
     
  18. Nov 14, 2019 at 8:12 PM #18

    bathman

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    Yep sorry should have made that clear...it is for the Pet Nat experiment. Trying to stop/slow fermentation by chilling it, so that it will settle out slightly and give me time to bottle it. Will then let temperature increase post-bottling in order to complete primary fermentation and get some sparkle. The difficult part is knowing when to bottle...I need it to be about 1 Brix remaining (10g/l of sugar) but there it limited info on the internet as to measuring that point.

    I intend to bottle when it is at an SG of around 1.000 and hope for the best!
     
  19. Nov 14, 2019 at 10:43 PM #19

    stickman

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    The main issue is estimating what gravity the wine stops at, if you assume .992 as the ending, you can check what 17.5 brix down to 1 brix gives for ABV, I get 9.1 ABV, then check 17.5 down to .992sg, I get 10.7 ABV, a difference of 1.6 ABV, so 1.6 ABV represents about 27g/l sugar (give or take).

    Experience may be more important here, maybe people have found that 1brix works well, but I'd be a little nervous because the calculations are very sensitive to the ending gravity, 27g/l sugar will get you over 6 atmospheres, more than a little sparkle that's a full "champagne" charge!!!!
     

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