Viognier...here we go again? What should I do different? Another shot at it in 2020?

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Boatboy24

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@4score and I had a yeast discussion yesterday. We used D47 last year, this year, on a recommendation, we are going to use Rhône 4600. Mine is going through mlf, @4score was talking about skipping.
I will probably go with QA23 or BA11. No MLF, no oak. If I had a stainless steel fermenter, I'd use it.

Yeah, Fred is hard core with his yeast blends.
 

4score

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Very interesting. I'm going to go with a Prelude start before the Rhone 4600. Thinking also about using this opportunity to test another yeast in a carboy. I may go way out of the box and use a red-wine yeast to see what that brings.
 

mainshipfred

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Just found out the Virginia Viognier won't be ready until mid to late September. @NorCal is this what you are seeing in your area? My commercial friend recommended BA11 for fruit characteristics and 58W3 for structure, I just have to determine the 3rd. He told me to leave it on the skins for at least 3-4 hours and make sure I do a sur lie aging. The funny part is when I told him I was going to do a cold fermentation his response was "how else would you do it", as if all home winemakers have glycol cooled tanks. Fortunately my cellar is kept at 55 and I have a chest freezer with an inkbird.
 

porkchopmessiah

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Im so curious about this grape, have never had it, nor seen it In commercial wines....is this common enough to find when the cali grapes co.e to the local supply stores? Since spring I've been trying to find growers in nj and the hudson valley that will sell the people like us, with no success....any ideas or tips?
 

Boatboy24

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Just found out the Virginia Viognier won't be ready until mid to late September. @NorCal is this what you are seeing in your area? My commercial friend recommended BA11 for fruit characteristics and 58W3 for structure, I just have to determine the 3rd. He told me to leave it on the skins for at least 3-4 hours and make sure I do a sur lie aging. The funny part is when I told him I was going to do a cold fermentation his response was "how else would you do it", as if all home winemakers have glycol cooled tanks. Fortunately my cellar is kept at 55 and I have a chest freezer with an inkbird.
I know I've asked you this before - which winery is he at? I may try and pick up some of his Viognier this weekend.

I just heard that Gadino Cellars harvested their Pinot Grigio on Monday.

Need to see if the wife will spring for a glycol chiller. Her birthday is in mid-sept. I think I heard her saying she wanted one. LOL!
 

Boatboy24

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Im so curious about this grape, have never had it, nor seen it In commercial wines....is this common enough to find when the cali grapes co.e to the local supply stores? Since spring I've been trying to find growers in nj and the hudson valley that will sell the people like us, with no success....any ideas or tips?
You should be able to find some from CA. It may be only juice buckets or it may be grapes. My first one was a CA juice bucket I purchased from Harford in MD.
 

NorCal

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I’ll get my first brix reading today, but last year we were harvesting by the end of next week, so pretty confident we are at least a week or two later than last year.

We will be crushing/55 gallon bladder pressing and letting it settle over night, before racking and splitting the juice.

I’ll ferment “cold” under airlock in my mid 60’s wine-box, supplemented with some ice jugs. Settled on 4600 yeast, sur lie on the fine lees, most likely mlf and hopefully no acid reduction this year. We are getting a half ton of fruit, I hope to net 16-20 gallons, @ 4Score should yield 34-40 gallons.
 

mainshipfred

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I know I've asked you this before - which winery is he at? I may try and pick up some of his Viognier this weekend.

I just heard that Gadino Cellars harvested their Pinot Grigio on Monday.

Need to see if the wife will spring for a glycol chiller. Her birthday is in mid-sept. I think I heard her saying she wanted one. LOL!
He's at Bull Run since last fall. Prior he was at Pearmund and made wine for Effingham and Vint Hill as well. He also made some wines for Bull Run while at Pearmund but I don't know which ones.
 

NorCal

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The brix reading came in at 22. We are going to harvest on Friday (1 week later). For the style of wine I like to make, I would prefer 24-25 (we were at 23.7 last year) but the grapes will be what they will be next Friday.
 

mainshipfred

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Here's a Voignier fermentation presentation, it's focused on the lower end early to drink style, but still worth viewing. They seem to be indicating that the fresh style of Voignier may benefit from ascorbic acid addition and CO2 protection when possible.
Interesting, a lot more attention to detail than I'm used to. The ascorbic acid is interesting though. I've never seen anything that ever addressed it.
 

Boatboy24

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Here's a Voignier fermentation presentation, it's focused on the lower end early to drink style, but still worth viewing. They seem to be indicating that the fresh style of Voignier may benefit from ascorbic acid addition and CO2 protection when possible.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing. I hadn't thought about enzymes or Opti-White, but will look into that. For my stylistic goals, I won't be using wood or MLB, but it's interesting reading that as almost SOP. I did head over to the Winery at Bull Run yesterday. Fortunately got there before it got busy. As there was plenty of room at the tasting bar and I noticed they were pouring the 2017 Petite Manseng (I'm hoping to get some of those grapes from them as well), I did a tasting and bought a bottle of the Viognier. Notes are attached. As you'll see, the Viognier is aged 20% in Acacia. There are definitely notes of the wood on the nose and palate. Fred mentioned his friend (the winemaker), also suggested Sur Lie. I get that on the nose and palate as well. It certainly adds a layer of complexity to the wine, but for my taste, I feel it subdues the usual tropical/floral/citrus profile that made me start to really enjoy Viognier in the first place. It'll be really interesting to see what we come up with and how you can take the grapes in different directions. I'm enjoying that bottle of Viognier right now, by the way. ;)

IMG_0832.JPG IMG_0833.JPG
 

NorCal

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Just got a text from the farmer. Sorry, the yield is lower than expected and no grapes available for you. We just confirmed with him on Friday, dropped the macrobin off on Sunday (1 hour drive) and today is Tuesday, so it’s frustrating.

@4score is looking for a last minute source or perhaps another white variety, we shall see.
 

mainshipfred

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Hope he is able to find another source, I was looking forward to the competition.
 

Chuck E

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Been doing a little research on the yeasts. Rhone 4600 and QA 23 are two of my goto's for whites. But I was also thinking of 71B. Whatever I finally decide on it will be fermented using 3 different yeasts, MLF I really haven't yet considered.
I used Rhone 4600 in my Spring 2019 Chilean batch. I am very optimistic about it at this point.
 

Boatboy24

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Just got a text from the farmer. Sorry, the yield is lower than expected and no grapes available for you. We just confirmed with him on Friday, dropped the macrobin off on Sunday (1 hour drive) and today is Tuesday, so it’s frustrating.

@4score is looking for a last minute source or perhaps another white variety, we shall see.
That's ridiculous!
 

NorCal

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That's ridiculous!
It is. He was apologetic and I get we are low on the totem pole of customers, but still.

I think @4score scored some Chenin Blanc. I’ve only had one bottle, the one I bought a few nights ago to see what the varietal tastes like. The bottle I had was very similar to the Viognier in this area. So we’re in.

Here is the funny thing. This is from a big time commercial (650 acres) vineyard. I’m not sure they know we are little ‘ol home winemakers. Our plan was to get 1,000 pounds, but it was $1,400 for a half ton and $1,550 for a ton, so all of a sudden we are making twice as much wine. We found some others local winemakers/consumers to go in on it, so I think we have a plan.
 

mainshipfred

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I did a Chenin Blanc from S. Africa this past spring from a juice bucket. Goes very nice with spicy Asian food. A year or so ago I went to a S. African wine tasting and they paired it with sunflower seeds. It seemed like the perfect snack to go with it.
 

mainshipfred

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The Viognier grapes came in this past Friday but I had to go out of town so the winery offered to crush and press them and put them in their reefer truck and sell me the juice. I'll be picking up the two buckets tomorrow for @Boatboy24 and I.
 
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