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November Production Update 2019


November 4th 2019

What a busy fall it has been for our production team! Harvest is officially over, but there is still a lot of work to be done with our new grapes. Most of our ferments are complete and the young wines are resting patiently in their tanks or barrels awaiting the next steps in the wine-making process. There are still 6 of our 2019 varietals under going fermentation! These active ferments are what our team is focusing on during the early weeks of this month.
Pictured above is Winemaker Mike Mitchell with the Pulsair performing what we call 'cap management' on our 2019 Syrah. As the yeast begins to convert the sugars into alcohol during fermentation, the juice is released from the grapes. When this occurs, the skins are lifted to the top of the tank by the carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of fermentation. It is important to maintain constant contact between the skins and the juice to ensure color and tannin extraction is occurring during this phase of production. One way winemakers maintain this is through cap management, we use a Pulsair to gently pump the juice on the bottom of the tank over the cap. This occurs twice a day to each fermenting red varietal. Different techniques can be used depending on how much extraction is desired for the specific varietal. Cap management also regulates the temperature in the tank. The temperature in the tank can directly impact the resulting wine so it is important to always maintain the proper environment.
After fermentation is complete, the free run wine is drained off of the skins and into the oak barrels. The remaining skins are pressed, and the pressed juice is added to those barrels. A secondary fermentation may take place once the wine is in the barrel which is called malolactic fermentation, or the conversion of malic acid into lactic acid. The decision to have a wine undergo secondary fermentation is largely a stylistic one, but it is also a way to naturally preserve the wine.
As you can see, even though harvest is over the production barns are still buzzing!

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