Journal | November 1, 2016
All Quiet Now
Even after all these years (this was vintage 37 for me), I remain a bit stunned as to how quickly all the frenetic activity of crush comes to a halt. The cellar seems to have an echo. No more bubbling or humming of a fan, a heater, or a chilling system.
This week we put all our toys away: picking lugs, crushers, chutes, manure spreaders are all cleaned on last time and then go to rest until August 2017.
The reds will be topped one last time. we will add sulfur now that the malolactic fermentations are complete. The reds have been very well behaved this year: no problems with high volatile acidity (the ‘vinegar’ acid), off aromas (reduction), or stuck fermentations (residual sugar).
We still have two white wine lots that are taking their time. As usual the Avenius Sauvignon Blanc is in no hurry to complete fermentation. There is still about 10 grams of sugar remaining to be converted into alcohol before it is “dry”. The Petit Manseng is also still active. We need to monitor it closely as we intend to leave about 30 or 40 grams/l of sugar in the final wine (demi-sec). Once we feel the wine is at the right stage we will turn on the chilling system to arrest fermentation. That point should be soon.
Most of the activity is now outside. We are removing over 3 acres of vineyards this fall: wires, posts, and vines. In 2018 the blocks will be replanted in a totally different fashion (row direction, spacing, clones and rootstocks).