Winter 22 to harvest 23

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Obbnw

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Oh how I empathize with the empty supply drawer… making a list for shopping tomorrow as I’m expecting to be making primitivo later this week as part of a group effort. Tempranillo will follow next week. My vineyard grapes are a couple weeks out unless the temperatures rise. We’ve been 75-80 during the day, 50-55 at night. Pretty good weather so I hope it holds.
We had a cool labor day with an inch of rain, which is quite a bit for my location. The next 2 weeks look sunny and warm, basically +10 degrees from your temps.

The Malbecs range from 16 to 20 brix, the remaining tempranillos are at 20-21 brix, the tannats are still pretty green but given the forecast I think everything will ripen nicely.
 

Obbnw

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Finally got around to shopping. Spent more than I ever have but most of it was corks. Bit the bullet and ordered 1000. I had been reluctant to order that many since it'll take 5 or more years to use them all but someone here posted that they just vac seal the ones they don't use. Great tip!

The Baco is fermenting nicely, forgot how much I like the smell of a clean ferment. I haven't checked brix today but based on the other day don't expect to pick anything this weekend.

It'll be nice to get the corks, got to start emptying carboys, so I can fill them with this years....
 

Obbnw

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Picked the remaining Tempranillos and most of the Malbecs Friday and Saturday, about 160 lbs total.

80 lbs were powdery mildew scarred but most didn't look too bad. I destem by hand anyway so sorting the bad ones was relatively easy. Definitely tossed a fair amount. Usually I'm about 10lbs of picked wght per gallon of must but this year is seems closer to 15lbs per gallon of must. It's not quite a fair comparison since I pressed the PM infected right away, so the must is essentially pure juice.

Also got 80lbs of mostly PM free malbecs, photo below.

prepick.jpg


Everything was about 23.5 brix, PH measured 3.8 but I still need to calibrate my meter this year so I don't trust the PH. On a side note, can I use distilled water instead of deionized water to make a ph test solution?

Still have about 50lbs of Malbecs to pick. This week is cool but it is supposed to warm back up. Anticipate picking oct 14. Hoping for 24-25Brix.

The Tannats are coming along and I expect most of them to reach 23 brix by the 14th. A couple of the plants are partially shaded by a tree and they are definitely behind the others.

Yield is way down from last year (about 700 lbs last year, maybe 350 this year), I probably lost 80% of my Tempranillos and 40% of Malbecs to PM.

The Baco-Tempranillo blend is looking great. I racked it yesterday and it was exceptionally clear for it's age and really tasted quite nice. I'll probably bottle and drink it young, Beaujolais Nouveau style. The high acid Baco along with just the Tempranillo juice seems to have mimicked the higher acidity and very little tannin associated with carbonic maceration.
 
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Everything was about 23.5 brix, PH measured 3.8 but I still need to calibrate my meter this year so I don't trust the PH. On a side note, can I use distilled water instead of deionized water to make a ph test solution?
Distilled water would probably be fine for the level of accuracy of winemaking

or buy these. I keep the solution in some sealed vials for later use, but these are designed to be disposable
Amazon.com
 

Obbnw

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Calibrated my ph meter, got 3.6 on a couple of readings of the Oct 2 picking then decided to check the Ph on the Baco/Temp ferment. By the time I got baco batch out the PH meter stopped working permanently. Must have damaged the bulb somehow, it just reads 00.00 no matter what I did. I ordered a new one, and measured again, 3.65 on one batch and 3.75 on the mostly juice batch, SG down to 1 or less.

The mostly juice ferment seemed to struggle. Got an off smell around SG of 1.04 or so and it just looked horrible. The color was tan brown and the liquid just looked thick.

I decided to rack it, and removed the sludge, smell got a little better, but the off smell was still present. The full grape ferment was down to sg 1.0, smelled great, and looked great so I pressed it and put the pressings in the mostly juice ferment which was also near 1.0 sg. Let the juice with added pressing ferment for 2 more days and then pressed it off. It picked up a ton of color and lost the off smell. This pic is the current state of the juice ferment. I'll probably rack it off to a glass carboy tomorrow.
PXL_20231010_191943081.jpg
The full grape ferment used Premiere Rouge yeast and the juice ferment used RC 212. I don't use any yeast nutrients and think the juice only batch must have needed some.

The Tannats have been ripening nicely and the plants with good west sun are at 24-25 brix, the shaded plants are at 22. The remaining Malbecs are moving slow, the sunny Tannats blew right past them. The remaining Malbecs lose west sun and morning sun this time of year and it shows. The grapes vary from 20 brix to 25 brix. With the 25 brix all along the section with the best sun.

I'm debating picking the 25 brix Tannats and Malbecs this evening. 78 today but the next two days are low 50's for the high, then gradually building back to mid 70's by Monday

I occasionally have problems with migrating birds, but the "birdcast" site, (yes there is a birdcast site) seems to indicate that most of the migration is done for this year so I shouldn't be too at risk just leaving everything going.

Right now I'm trending to picking today then maybe the less ripe grapes will move a little faster. Since I doubt I'll let them go past Oct 22 there really isn't much ripening time left.

hmmmm......

The Baco/Temp blend (about 45lbs Baco full grapes and 25 lbs of Tempranillo juice from PM damaged grapes) is fabulous, I bottled it and will drink it like a beaujolais nouveau. I'm going to have to buy a bottle of beaujolais nouveau to compare since I've never had any.

PXL_20231007_012552793.jpg
 
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Obbnw

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Ended up picking all the Malbecs and left all the Tannat's.

Picked about 60 lbs, all from 1 vine covering about 24 linear ft of trellis (the ripe section is about 12' running east - west, the other 12' runs north-south). Destemmed and crushed, ended up with about 5.5 gallons. Brix 23, ph 3.25. The PH is absurdly low compared to other years. Previous years PH probably averaged 3.7 to 3.8. Most of the bunches had lignified stems, even the lower brix bunches. Had more bunches break apart or just snap off while picking than I ever had. After picking the higher brix grapes and looking at what was left it just seemed like they probably were not going to change. They seemed have been stuck at the low 20's for the last few weeks and it looked like I'd get enough for a full bucket ferment so I decided to pick them all.

I've got them cold soaking outside. Forecast low is around 40 for the next 2 days and forecast high is low 50's. Temperature of the must was 62 when I put it outside.

I just wish I had separated out a high brix bunch or 5 to see what the Brix/PH was - so it goes.
 

Obbnw

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At least the lignified stems will not add green flavor to your wine. That is worse than low pH in my opinion

Are you finished with 2023 winemaking yet?
Not done yet.

Picked about 60 lbs of Tannat yesterday, finished destemming them this afternoon. Again just a little over 5 gallons of must after destemming, Brix is 23.1 and PH is 3.1 and rising (was 2.95 a few hours ago). I thought the brix would be over 24 so was surprised at the 23.1. I'll leave them outside the next couple of days. It is supposed to cool down this week and hard freeze over the weekend. It has been the warmest October I can remember. The bunches were mostly open, previous years had really tight compact bunches. Typical bunches this year looked like:
typical bunches.jpg

The post destemming juice was very dark far more liquidy than I've seen on the Malbecs and Tempranillos. This photo is just after destemming was complete but no crushing. ( my crushing is typically pretty minimal, potato masher just to get it more liquidy).
juice.jpg

On the October 10th pick I left them outside until October 15. Must temp on the 15th was 48 degrees, the PH had risen to 3.6 and brix dropped to 22. Pitched the yeast , Premiere Rouge on 10/16. The ferment stayed cool, max temp was 66 and it was essentially dry yesterday. I'm going to light press it, hopefully tonight and do a second run.

In total I should end up with about 26 gallons including 3 gallons of seconds. My goal is to make enough to cover my drinking for the year and be able to age some but I didn't make it. For the last year I've averaged about 1/2 bottle a night. I've been bottling in 375ml bottles and beer bottles with beer caps. For how I use the bottles the beer bottle and caps are nice but the beer bottles I use are really light and just don't have the same feel as the 375ml bottles with corks. I was surprised at how disappointing the feel of the beer bottles was - so it goes. At least the beer bottles/caps are much cheaper.

On the plus side, since last year was a huge harvest I still have about 14 gallons from last year bulk aging and another 5 gallons of 22 bottled.
2022 Harvest 676 lbs,
2023 harvest 355 lbs (damm powdery mildew!)
 

Hazelemere

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Spent yesterday with the vines.

The baco's blew right to 25-26 brix. At first I figured my refractometer needed calibration, but it checked out fine.

Picked all the baco's, about 45 lbs of tiny berries. The pm damaged tempranillos were also reading 22-23 brix so I picked them too. Got about 25 lbs where last year I had about 200. Destemmed and crushed by hand. Hand pressed the Tempranillo, ended up with about 1.5 gallons of juice.

Crushed the baco's, about 3.8 gallons of juice.

Decided to mix them together and start a ferment.

Final sg about 1.105, ph measued 3.3, but I didn't have any solution to check the calibration so I don't have a lot of faith in the reading.

This morning the bucket is bubbling away.

I need to do some shopping. My wine drawer was empty, no ph check solution, no campden tablets, no corks...
sounds like you have really good baco noir with decent tempranillo. What an interesting combo. Good luck with it.
 

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