The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 10 2009

Lots o’ Bottling

It’s finally time to bottle the barolo that has been bulk aging since March.  I wanted to avoid bottling any of the goop that has settled out at the bottom, so I racked off the clear wine into a bucket.  I noticed a white film at the top similar to what I saw a few […]

More Weekend Wining

With four different varietals in various stages of progress, as well as the last of the 2008 merlot to bottle, every weekend is going to be quite busy for a few more weeks.  Since I was out of malic acid tests last weekend when the primitivo was racked, sulfited, and oaked, I took a sample […]

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 […]

Problems with Petite Sirah

I checked in with the guys yesterday, the petite sirah was due to be pitched.  In fact, it looked like it was already bubbling away, like what happened with the merlot this year.  But, it looked great — Paul added vinozyme, and the juice was a lovely inky dark purple color. Then I got a […]

Pumping Merlot and Picking up the Petite Sirah

Today we pick up the Petite Sirah grapes from Chris van Alyea at his new digs up in San Marcos.  Unfortunately, the grapes arrived later than expected, although it’s not too bad, Paul and I had a lot to do before we head up to get them.  We spent about 4 hours racking the merlot […]

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 […]

A New Addition to the Family

Since pressing 1500 pounds of merlot plus the incoming 1000 pounds of petite sirah with a one-gallon basket press did not sound exciting, we all went in on a 90-L bladder press. Our new addition arrived today! Good timing, too, the merlot is already below 11 brix and falling fast.

Bottling Merlot During the Miramar Air Show

It is kinda cool to look up and see jets flying in formations overhead while you’re bottling your wine.  We all got together to bottle the rest of the merlot hanging out in the barrel, and it happened to be the day of the Miramar Air Show.  We got our bottling line set up outside […]

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 […]

OV Zin One Month Tasting

It’s only been about one month since bottling, but I couldn’t wait to try this wine. Very faint nose of berries and plums. Only faintly “soapy” (kit taste), very surprising for wine this young. Nice, round mouthfeel with fruit-forward flavors of blueberry, plum, and blackberry with light spice. Really nice for such a young wine!