Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bubble, bubble . . .

For me there are a couple of favorite things during harvest. Whacking my shins against equipment is not at the top of the list of items, but these two photos capture one of them. Somewhere around day 2-5 of the primary ferment, the multiplication of the yeast cells really takes off and those little critters voraciously eat up the grape sugar - an activity that eventually leads to their fatal encounter with ever increasing amounts of ethanol. The yeasties are really happy during this exponential growth period and punching down the "cap" (the mass of skins, intact grapes and some seeds that congeal and float to the top) results in a huge mass of purple foam. As the foam bubbles burst the most incredible smell of young wine and fresh grapes emerges. This is day three of the 2009 Estate Tempranillo. Intoxicating!!

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