The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Tag archive: primitivo

Racking Primitivo and Petite Sirah Sludge

The primitivo has been settling out since October, so it seemed like time to poke at it.  I like to splash rack my wine that is bulk aging in carboys at least once to try to give it a little oxygenation while it’s hanging out. The primi has become wonderfully clear already, a lovely purple-ruby […]

Wine Wrangling Weekend

Lots to do this weekend!  Of course, there were 2 trips to the office winery to punch down the newly pitched Petite Sirah.  By the evening, the temp was up to 78 degrees (in an air conditioned room) and there were serious caps on all of the buckets.  Then I had to deal with trying […]

Putting the New Press to Work and Testing MLF Progression

All of our wines are fermenting fast this year, the merlot was already at 0 brix by Friday.  Dave retested all the cans Saturday morning after we had all gathered for pressing, and noticed that the hydrometer he had used was broken — there was juice inside of the hydrometer.  But, luckily the juice was […]

Syrah, Primitivo, and Merlot — Oh My!

Yep, harvest season is in full swing.  Our merlot from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma arrived Tuesday.  The plan was to do a 4-5 day cold soak, then pitch the yeast on Sunday — except it started spontaneously fermenting on Friday!  Paul ran out and got the yeasts to pitch, ICV-D21 and BM4x4.  Chris recommended […]

Bringing the Syrah Home

Paul pressed out the syrah this week, and then racked the juice off of the gross lees into carboys to start the MLF.  It looks like we only got about 10 gallons of juice, and he also kept a bucket of “sludge” that looked like it might settle out and yield a little more volume.  […]

Oh the Pressure

I checked on the primitivo this morning, and saw that the bottles had warped again.  This happened before, the ongoing fermentation creates a negative pressure that causes the bottles to kind of “suck in” and get warped.  It’s an easy fix, I just pulled off the bungs to release the pressure and they went back […]

Famous Last Words

It was time to pump off the cleared wine into a clean trash can for inoculation of the MLB.  My hubby was nice enough to help me, since wrangling the wine pump could get a little hairy;  both hoses need to be held under the wine, while plugging in the pump and sucking air through […]

Pressed Primitivo

I got everything set up and started pressing the primitivo after retesting the brix, which were at 0 for both cans.  It took about 4 hours total, it’s quite tedious with the basket press – the must gets poured in until the basket is about full, then the lid gets screwed down to press.  The […]

A Pressing Question

This is unexpected, both the syrah and the primitivo are ready to press this weekend.  It would not normally be a problem, except we are going to our friends’ wedding today in Fallbrook (an hour away, but oh so pretty there!).  That makes pressing today with the basket press not an option, leaving only one […]


I checked the brix today – can A is at 11.7 brix, and can B is at 9 brix!  I gave can A 40 grams of fermax yeast nutrient, since it has a slight sulfur smell, and 20 grams to can be.  The temps were up to 88 degrees, too.  Looks like I’ll be pressing […]