As October ends with quite a few inches of rain falling, the young wines in the cellar are finishing up the process going from grapes to new wine. Let's wrap up vintage 2016 with a few notes from me and our winemaker Montse Reece.
The month of October flew by in our cellar. We received our final truckload of grapes on September 30. The grand total was 848 tons of grapes crushed during our 89th harvest. To put it in perspective there is this report from the Wine Institute: "overall state winegrape crop was estimated to be near the historical average of 3.9 million tons by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in August 2016." We’re a drop in a very large bucket!
The harvest went off without a hitch and Montse says, “A great vintage with back-to-normal size crop and back-to-normal acids!”
“The young red wines are now finishing their secondary fermentation (Julie says: also known as malo-lactic fermentation in order to soften the rough edges) and will be racked off the lees (dead yeast cells and other particulate) and sent to barrel (Julie says: where more softening of the edges takes place by slowly aging and oxygenating the young wine). All wines are sampled for fresh analysis in the lab as they finish racking. Our 2016 Wisdom Cabernet Sauvignon has already been put into new French oak barrels to begin its’ nearly two year aging process. The Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Rose of Zinfandel are being cold-stabilized because they will be the first wines of the vintage to be bottled early next year.”
So it's a wrap on harvest but it's not a wrap in the cellar as they keep busy transferring thousands of gallons of wine from tank to barrel over the coming months. A toast with a splash of Wisdom Cabernet in my Dino!
It's all about the tanks this time of year. From our red wine fermentation building to shoveling the lees from the tank to cold stabilization of our Sauvignon Blanc. You thought harvest was busy? Try post-harvest wrap up!