Well, technically 5 years but year one I learned the most important lesson of all. And that is; don't leave for a 10 day vacation on the Big Island the day after you pitch your yeast! It was after that debacle that I got serious about learning this craft.CDrew,
I would never have imagined that it was only year 4 for you. I have seen a lot of posts/comment from you and would have guessed that you had been doing this for so much longer.
AJ, what are your typical fermentation additions of oak & tannins for a red wine made from grapes?A definite ‘ah-ha’ moment for me was learning that adding oak during the fermentation and adding oak later in aging—- ARE 2 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS! And how oak in fermentation isn’t adding any ‘oak essence’ but rather utilizing the additional tannins for better extraction of different characteristics from the grapes. (sacrificial tannins) not only did it help my understanding of the use of oak in making wine— but really helped me to understand what’s actually taking place during fermentation ——-which helped my winemaking all around.
I guess I default to FT Rouge. But I played around with diff types of oak chips. Opti red, tannin Riche, that generic ‘wine tannin powder’ stuff. But I’d say FT rouge is my go to. Mainly because of accessibility. I get most of my stuff online from morewine, which has limited options for fermentation tannins.AJ, what are your typical fermentation additions of oak & tannins for a red wine made from grapes?
Well said. I have never thought about it as an avalanche - but it absolutely is. Having to work at pace, monitor and cross check your steps. not mentioning the sore back.Learning in wine making is an avalanche. THe grapes for me all come in in just 2-3 weeks. You have to adapt, you have to rack and recover, you have to clean and clean and clean. It's actually hard physically. But processing 1000-1500 pounds of grapes is rewarding, and it's fun to drink wine I made 4 years ago. I hope I can drink wine I made 20 years ago.
Bulk fermentation/storage is your friend. Go as long as you can because once it's in the bottle, you can't change the trajectory of what's going to happen.
I was considering trying saignee this year and backed out of it. For those that have are using this method, have the results been worth it?With just 4 years of experience and only 2 years with actual grapes, there's a lot of room for improvement. But so far, the biggest ah ha moments have been:
- switching from kits to grapes for reds (more work, but much more rewarding)
- pre-fermentation enzymes/additives and saignee, in particular, can significantly improve a red wine
- controlling and changing temperatures throughout fermentation has its benefits (spiking temps for extraction, lowering temps to lengthen skin time)
- pay closer attention to ph....learned that the hard way
I did a saignee Rose in 2019 with some questionable Mourvedre grapes. It ended up being really good, and we're nearly out of the 2 1/2 cases I made of it. I would say the Rose was actually better than the red wine from the same grapes, at least so far. I bottled in in April and we were drinking it in May. By June or so it was really nice. We're down to the last 3 bottles so for sure the wife approved.I was considering trying saignee this year and backed out of it. For those that have are using this method, have the results been worth it?