Konnowac Vineyard, my grape source for YEARS is no longer available, and I am getting grapes from other sources.
MERLOT (1300#) came from Two Mountain Vineyard on September 18 with 25.5 Brix.
MALBEC (750#) came from Ginkgo Forrest on September 15 with 24.5 Brix.
CABERNET FRANC (250#) came from Dineen Vineyard on September 28 with 27.5 Brix
CABERNET SAUVIGNON (1675#) came from Two Mountain Vineyard on October 11 with 24 Brix.
PETIT VERDOT (300#) came from Dineen Vineyard on October 11 at 25 Brix.
That’s a little over two tons of grapes! I have great respect for Pat and Matt at Two Mountain, as well as Mike at Ginkgo and I’m excited to see what this year’s vintage does. The rule of thumb is to get the best grapes you can, and then don’t screw up.
All grapes started their journey with 50ppm Sulfite on arrival, along with Lallzyme EX-V to increase yield, Opti Red to help with complexity, color intensity and tannin integration, and the crushed grapes sat overnight before yeast was added.
Yeast: This year I used BM4x4 with Go-Ferm, and added FT Rouge to help preserve the natural tannin, create color stability, enhance mouthfeel, and prevent oxidation, as well as oak chips during fermentation.
We used BM4x4 yeast on everything, and fermented the Cab Sauv in a one-ton macro bin. That was an experience! The jury is still out on the bin, but the results are very positive.
Nutrient: At the first sign of fermentation, everything got a dose of Fermaid K to keep the yeast happy. At about 1/3 sugar depletion (3-5 days) another dose of Fermaid K, along with FT Rouge and Colormax.
Press was 15-18 days after crush, let settle overnight, and then pumped wine into barrels (and carboys), yield was 6.8 gallons per 100#. Added ML Beta to the barrels, tanks and carboys in October, and we are stirring twice a week. As of January 30, MLF had not quite finished but I was getting nervous, so I added SO2 and in the spring when things warm up I will manage the sulfite levels to allow MLF to complete.
We taste and top up about once a month (good time to visit the winery1), there will be racking 1-2 times over the next two years, and we will bottle them around August of 2020.