Wine made over a decade ago with friends. A chilly night in May was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the labours of this year’s harvest while relishing the memories of vintages past.
This week I completed the initial winemaking process and pressed the fermented wine off the skins. After 9 days of ferment the wine was reading 0 degrees sugar, but still emitting plenty of Carbon Dioxide, making this the ideal time to press. I know that some people like to cold soak the fermented wine on the skins, a process known as carbonic maceration, but I am not into this. I find the tradeoff for the extra colour is occasionally harsher tannins that have impact on the wine’s drinkability in the early stages. My efforts are aimed at drinkable wine within twelve months, so It’s gentle all the way with me.
The pressing is normally a fun time with students everywhere, getting wine stains on their uniforms and generally making parents days…. Unfortunately with COVID this year, that was impossible. On the bright side, this presented the opportunity to film the process without students present. Making the video possible. So I got to share this amazing experience with a wider audience.
The wine is now in tank waiting a few weeks for it to go through malolactic fermentation. Once this is completed the wine will be analysed for sulphur (free and bound) and have the necessary preservative added for it’s journey into long term storage.
In a few weeks time I will be bottling the wine currently in the barrel and replacing it with this year’s vintage. With COVID restrictions now easing the students will likely get the opportunity to get involved in this great experience and put their fingerprints (literally) on this year’s vintage.