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

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NorCal

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A long day. We got shorted grapes again, 1,500 vs. 2,000 pounds promised and we had to sort through some bad fruit and leaves. Overall however, I think the juice is one of the cleanest we’ve ever. the base root of the Viognier is muscat that they had grafted Viognier on to. There were some random muscat clusters and we told the farmer to throw them in as well. I’d say 5% in total if that. May add some interesting notes.
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4score

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What a long day when you drive over 2 hours (out and back) to get grapes, crush grapes, press grapes - plus set-up and the dreaded clean up. The crew rocked it today. Like a machine! This Vio will be excellent!
 

NorCal

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The total was an unmeasured 1500 pounds, my take was 25%, or 375 pounds of grapes. I left with 16 or so gallons of juice, which means we didn’t hit our yield goal and/or we didn’t start with 1500 pounds of grapes. The juice separated nicely after sitting for 30 hours. I have 14 gallons that was inoculated in the 60 liter (15.8) Spiedel and a 2.5 gallon UPS colored carboy in the fridge, hoping to yield more juice, that I’ll add to the ferment.
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Going to be getting my Viognier Tuesday. As of Friday the numbers were 23 brix and 3.37 pH, hope it doesn't change too much. @Boatboy24 they have plenty but they also want $1.60/lb if your interested. I know juice buckets and Cali grapes are way less expensive I just want to make Virginia wines.
 

Boatboy24

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Going to be getting my Viognier Tuesday. As of Friday the numbers were 23 brix and 3.37 pH, hope it doesn't change too much. @Boatboy24 they have plenty but they also want $1.60/lb if your interested. I know juice buckets and Cali grapes are way less expensive I just want to make Virginia wines.
That is extremely tempting. I'm happy with last years and want to do another. Will decide today and let you know. Don't know if you saw the email from WW about the grapes from Delta, but it has me pretty worried.
 

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They are not picking until tomorrow. Today's number are 3.30 pH, 23.8 brix, 9.7 TA. I really don't like my whites that high in alcohol. Would any of you consider watering it back.
 

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They are not picking until tomorrow. Today's number are 3.30 pH, 23.8 brix, 9.7 TA. I really don't like my whites that high in alcohol. Would any of you consider watering it back.
No.

I did a random cellar sample just now of the white wine that we have-mostly SB and Semillion and a few Reislings. The low was 13.2% and the high was 14.5%. I think you're good. But full disclaimer, while I've drunk a bunch of white wine, I've never made one. Good luck.
 

NorCal

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They are not picking until tomorrow. Today's number are 3.30 pH, 23.8 brix, 9.7 TA. I really don't like my whites that high in alcohol. Would any of you consider watering it back.
I pulled my white making history on whites, so you can see what the decisions I have made. I must say though that I'd rather have a flabby white than a crisp white, so I'm ok with a little more alcohol and less acid. Note: the grapes were split between @4score and I.


YearVarietalDate HarvestPoundsBrixpH
2020Viognoir, 5% muscat8/18/2020150022.53.4
2019Chenin Blanc9/28/2019160022.03.6
2018Voignier8/30/2018100023.73.5
2017Chardonnay9/2/2017117525.6 adj to 24.53.3
2016Chardonnay8/20/201690023.53.2
 

mainshipfred

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I pulled my white making history on whites, so you can see what the decisions I have made. I must say though that I'd rather have a flabby white than a crisp white, so I'm ok with a little more alcohol and less acid. Note: the grapes were split between @4score and I.


YearVarietalDate HarvestPoundsBrixpH
2020Viognoir, 5% muscat8/18/2020150022.53.4
2019Chenin Blanc9/28/2019160022.03.6
2018Voignier8/30/2018100023.73.5
2017Chardonnay9/2/2017117525.6 adj to 24.53.3
2016Chardonnay8/20/201690023.53.2
Thanks, when I pick up the grapes I'll ask the winemaker what his approach will be.
 

NorCal

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Following up on this year’s Vio progress. I decided to not do mlf and recently racked. I took a sample (it was at the bottom of the carboy, so got some sediment) and put it in the fridge to see what kind of tartrate fallout I would have. After 4 days I had my answer.
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I will rotate the carboys in the outside fridge to hopefully eliminate this from happening in the bottle.
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4score

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It will be interesting to compare our Viogniers. We "did" add ML, although after 3 months it looks like it's only about 20% complete. The thing is, we do LOVE the taste and nose on this wine today. Wondering about stopping it. That little bit of Muscat is an outstanding addition. This wine is probably the best and most interesting wine at this early age that we've ever made! Very excited about it. Although, it could all go to hell in the next 6 months! LOL
 

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That's interesting what you say about the small amount of Muscat in the Viognier adding a lot. I was just planning out the potential white blends to try with the base wines that I have (Roussanne (31 gallons), Viognier (21 gallons) and Muscat (22 gallons)) and base Viognier with a bit of Muscat wasn't in there. I'll need to assess this too. My main Viognier blend was going to be about 75% Viognier/25% Roussanne, but 5% muscat might be nice too. Do you have a sense of how much muscat actually got through?

-Aaron
 

4score

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It's hard to say exactly. We did tour the vines and saw the Muscat growth on some of the vines. I would say 5 to 10 percent is all. Sounds like you are set up very nicely for some great blending! Good luck.
 

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The group that went in on the Viognier (3 parties) are going to do a COVID safe Vio tasting over the Christmas break. We will each swap wine and then taste over Zoom. Should be interesting as we have each taken different paths, which I’ll detail. Example, I did not mlf, but cold stabilized. I believe both the other parties, one of which is @4score went through mlf, but is not cold stabilized.
 

NorCal

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Zoom tasting happened. 20 wines to taste was plenty. Half were current barrel tastings. My takeaways: the Viognier’s were different, all good, but none really stood out to me as markedly better than the other. I might do some K-carbonate trials to lower the acidity. I liked the wines from one of the winemakers that has focused efforts on cold soaking. On the reds, I found I liked the wines with less oak.
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