Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'09 Cab Harvest 9/26/09

For this year, I rounded up some friends to join us, so we were able to pick enough to do a barrel. Paul Romero of Stefania Wine gave me a neutral barrel, and we've bought some extra equipment, so quality and quality control should both step up.

Six of us met at my place at 7am and drove down to San Martin. The vineyard was so immaculate last year that we opted against taking a half day to drive down there and check it out. What we found was a surprise. The owner had turned off the water 2 weeks earlier than normal, and there were a lot of raisins. Also, the canopy was too thick in areas, and the inner clusters in those vines had mildew. Burt and I had coached our crew on the importance of sorting while picking, with an emphasis of keeping leaves out of the picking bins. To that, we had to stress no mildew and minimize the raisins. If anything, our crew were over-vigilant, so I was feeling a little bad about how much we were leaving, but we got good fruit. After a few rows of a lot of effort for little reward, we found the deeper in rows were just fine. So basically, the harm was us having to toil a couple extra hours, those being in the midday sun.

We picked about 965 lbs., which crushed to about 95.75 gallons. My calculation based on last year with this vineyard is that we'll get 69 gallons after the fermented wine is pressed. The barrel is 60 gallons, but we need extra for topping - you lose maybe a gallon a month to evaporation, and need to replace it or the wine will oxidize. So, 9 gallons is probably fine. The worry is there may be more solids this year, which would necessitate using something else to top with.

We measured the sugar level to be 25.6 brix. Correcting for how warm it was, that could really be as high as 26.35 brix. So the alcohol should be 14.1-14.5%.
pH 3.48
Total acidity .81
That works out to what should be a balanced wine.


Sunday I helped harvest a couple tons of Chardonnay for Stefania at the Chaine d'Or Vyd.

Monday I helped sort and crush a couple tons of Pinot Noir at Harrington Winery in San Francisco.

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