The cellar team starts their mornings very early to assure that the fruit is cool when it arrives at the crush pad. Fortunately, the bees and little bugs sleep in, so by starting early, we can avoid most of these headaches.
LaCrosse is one grape we’ve already harvested. The LaCrosse we’ve grown in our vineyards has not had much character in past years, but this year we are seeing a fruit bomb with citrus and really zesty lemon. We expect that we’ll use the LaCrosse as a component in some of our wine blends this year.
We also harvested a red grape, Sabrevois, from our young Maple Woods vineyards. This vineyard does not have much canopy so they ripened ahead of the same variety planted at Tassel Ridge vineyard. This fruit had great chemistry with little acid and a beautiful nose.
The St. Pepin was outstanding with exceptional kiwi and tropical island flavors. Jonita, our Cellar Specialist, wanted to kick back with her feet in the sand and just relax! We will use the St. Pepin as a component of our Prelude.
In addition to crushing and pressing the white grapes, we are cold settling the juice at 35–40°F to remove as much of the sediment as we can. We want to begin fermentations with a clear juice. We will start fermentations when the juice reaches 48–50°F and depending on sugar levels of the juice, we may add sugar to get the level to 22% sugar before we start fermentation.
As of the start of the Labor Day weekend, we had Brianna and LaCrosse fermenting and were cold settling Sabrevois.
We also purchased about 2,700 gallons of Muscat di Canelli juice from California. It was harvested and crushed at Mendocino Winery on Wednesday and we expect it to arrive this week. We had Mendocino Winery add about 35 parts per million of SO2 and the temperature in the truck started out at 35°F. We don’t want to take any chance of the juice starting to ferment. We will transfer the juice to a tank, will check chemistry and temperature, and then begin the fermentation process.
This time of year is very busy in the cellar!