Tuesday, December 16, 2008


- as in asleep. So what does wine look like in the winter? I realize it’s not yet winter but close enough. After harvest, crush, ferment, press, settling, and racking – comes the slow quiet action in barrels and tanks. New wine is very fruity but rough with lots of yeast and vegetable smells and tastes. It takes a few months for that to settle out and integrate into the wine. In the case of wine in barrels there is the additional activity of merging the wine with the oak characteristics of the wood and managing the subtle but important chemical reactions that only can occur in a wood. This is what it looks like. Not much I know, but in the absence of vigorous fermentation and bubbling the wine is actually very susceptible to spoilage and other problems. It is a nerve wracking time for me as I’m busy with topping off barrels, testing the wine, tasting the wine and keeping it healthy, but actually it is one of my favorite stages of wine making.

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