Last week, we pressed our Iowa Prairie Snow®. We’d harvested the grapes right at the beginning of harvest starting August 2, 2017 and then took them to a locker for freezing. We left them at the locker until we could take a day or two to press them. We use our basket press which we bring up from the shed behind the Winery. The grapes were hand harvested and frozen in 230 picking bins. We allowed the grapes to thaw partially and then we pressed. All we want and get is the juice that thaws first. It is right under the skin and it has most of the flavor and all of the sugar. We press until we get about 1/3 of the normal amount of juice and we monitor progress by tasting frequently and also by measuring the sugar content. This year, the sugar level after pressing was about 32° Brix or 32% sugar. The juice is amazingly aromatic and flavorful with hints of peach and light orange. The process is called cryo-extraction.
The next step is to ferment this juice and this takes a special yeast that can handle the high sugar level. And, this fermentation is long and slow.
We will bottle Sweet Roxie Red® this week.
And, we are working on a variety of quality, maintenance, and energy-saving tasks.