We have six batches of juice fermenting in the cellar right now. They need regular attention to make sure that they are not fermenting too fast and that the temperature is being maintained. Unfortunately, on Saturday night, a local electrical substation took a hit and we were without power for about two hours. Our chiller stayed down even after the power came back on. So as of about noon on Sunday, temperatures in the tanks had risen beyond our ideal set-points. An emergency call to the maintenance specialists got us back on track. It was not a good experience but it could have been worse.
On Sunday, after measuring sugar levels on all of the fermentations, we fed each batch with what we call lag nutrients. These are the nutrients that the yeast needs to complete the fermentation. One of our wines is a red called Foch. We have to punch that down twice daily so that the grape skins remain wet and continue imparting flavor to the juice.
We harvested about two bins of Marquette late last week and are cold-soaking these grapes in order to extract flavors from the skins. We started the fermentation on this batch of juice today.
Today, we picked samples of the fruit from the vineyards containing Frontenac, Sabrevois, and Steuben. We tested these samples for sugar levels, acid levels, and the pH of the juice to help us determine when we will harvest. All of these grapes are red. We’ve now finished harvesting all of the white grapes.