On September 27, 2009 we harvested 1200 lbs of Cabernet Franc fruit from the Napa, Oak Knoll appellation (John Muir Hanna vineyards). With help from our neighbors and friends it took just over two hours to harvest the fruit and bring it back to the garage for crush. This is the first time picking our own fruit, so we were able to take our time and make sure most of the insects and leaves were removed at picking time, which shortened the sorting time after crush.
With 35 gallons per fermentation tank we had the following:
|Tank #||Brix||pH||Total Acid|
Upon recommendation from Tracy Lynn, I broke from my instinct to leave the TA alone this time, and add 2oz per tank to increase the acid to 0.68.
On 9/28/09, I added 5 grams of SO2 (potassium metabisulphate) to each tank to kill the unwanted natural yeasts.
On 9/29/09 @ 1pm, I added 0.44 lbs of french oak chips to each tank, and 10g of Fermaid to each tank also. Then inoculated the Must with 6 packets of Pasteur Red yeast per tank.
This year I decided to punch down only 3x each day (every 8 hours) instead of 4x (every 6 hours), and then after fermentation stopped I went to 2x per day until we were ready for pressing. It was unusually cold this year – an average of 65% each day so even with added heat the fermentation took a full 2 weeks. Then I left the skins and juice together until we pressed the wine on 10/24/09, and transferred it to a Hungarian Oak (neutral – 3year old) barrel.
I inoculated the wine with ML, and had it tested on 11/8/09 in a lab with these results:
TA = 0.73
VA = .079 (volatile acidity – legal limit is .11)
pH = 3.54
Alcohol = 15.4%
On 12/10/09 I decided I was not happy with the slow 2nd malolactic fermentation so I added some ML food to the barrel. I want ML to finish so I can add SO2 to try to bring down the VA and keep the wine from spoiling.