racking-11_Tanks05-150X150The cellar team has gotten off to a fast start in bottling this season. The 2015 Iowa Nouveau was first, followed by White Blossom and Edelweiss.

We are especially impressed with this year’s Edelweiss grapes that were used to make both the White Blossom and Edelweiss wines. The quality was really good and the result is great aromas and some great flavors. We have learned a lot about Edelweiss over the past several years. One of the big bits of enlightenment is to harvest at about 17–18 Brix (or percent sugar) before the grape develops foxy flavors. With other grape varieties, we may wait until the sugar is 22° Brix. Our vineyard crew plays a big role in managing the crop load. We are getting the right amount of Nitrogen in the fruit so our fermentations go smoothly.

Our 2015 Iowa Edelweiss is a crisp and fruity wine. It has a great nose with citrus and kiwi notes. We think people will really like this vintage.

We are getting ready to carbonate our first fizzy wine of the season. It will be Oskyfizzante® Iowa White. Here is how we will do that. We will chill the wine down to 25°F in our high pressure carbonation tank. We will leave it there for 3–5 days to allow the tartrates to settle out. Then, we will rack off the wine and move it to another tank to warm up. We will add sugar to our target level, do one final filtration before putting it back in the carbonation tank. It will stay in the carbonation tank while we inject food grade CO2. We will test twice per day and make adjustments as required. Then, we bottle under pressure. We have to use a hand bottling set-up with extra people to make it all happen. There is lots of work in making fizzy wines.

We will be bottling 2015 Iowa Marquette Rosé today. This wine has a beautiful color and crisp plum and a little citrus nose. Yum!

We filtered our small batch of 2015 Iowa Brianna. It is very fruity and it will be a crowd pleaser. We’ll be especially happy when some of our new Brianna vines begin to produce in 2016 for the first time.

We began the cold stabilization process on both our Prelude and also on Candleglow® White.

Beginning in December, we will start receiving juice from Upstate New York that we use to make Red, White, & Blue®, American Pink Catawba, and Cranberry Wine. We usually get one or two truckloads in December and then one a month until about April. These are grapes (and berries in the case of Cranberry) that are not easy to grow in Iowa.