We did punch-downs on red wine fermentations all weekend. It is a great upper body work-out! But, the punch-downs assure that grape skins are in contact with the fermenting juice as much as possible right now. That will allow us to extract as much flavor as possible from the skins.
Fermentations need to be fed at least once. Their food is largely Nitrogen, but it has some additional ingredients. We fed Foch over the weekend and fed our very small batch of Crimson Pearl later in the week. We started fermentation of the Steuben on Monday.
When the fermentation is finished, we rack off the solids in the wine (mostly yeast lees). We did that with Edelweiss, a batch of Foch, and the Marquette we use for Nouveau. We ended the fermentation on Petite Pearl on Monday, and we will give it ten days of extended lees contact before racking this wine also.
We ended the fermentation of LaCrosse this week and pressed the Foch off skins and seeds. The bin dumper and scale were put away for the winter, we cleaned up the macro bins and put them away, and scrubbed the floor in the case goods room where we had been fermenting in open-top fermenters. The fermentations are almost all done and now we’ll move on to making the Iowa Nouveau blend, deciding how we will fine our white wines, and getting ready to bottle Blackberry Wine.