Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Soon to be wine...

Thanks to our vineyard manager Sam for this wonderful picture! These are some Syrah grapes that were just picked and placed into these bins for transportation. The bins can't be too big though because the weight of the grapes will squash the bunches on the bottom and fermentation will start due to ambient yeasts. These grapes have now been crushed and destemmed in a wonderful machine called a crusher/destemmer! As the yeasts go about their business eating the sugar in the juice and creating alcohol and CO2 as a by-product, a cap forms. This cap is made up of the grape skins floating to the top and creating a solid layer. About 4-5 times a day the cap must be broken up through a method called punching down. This releases all the color and flavors from the skins as well as gets needed oxygen to the yeasts. This process goes on for about a week for red wines and then comes the press...more on that later.

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