November, 2014

Our successful harvest is over and we are very busy with wine making! Our Chardonnay is still in second (malolactic) fermentation and most of the red wines have completed both fermentations. The malolactic, or second fermentation is trickier than the primary fermentation, but I have had better luck this year because I used a “fermentation helper” (Microessentials Oenos) for the ML and it made a big difference in speeding the process. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Chardonnay will complete second fermentation as quickly as the red wines did.

Now we will gently crush the remaining skins and pulp of our red wines and put the wine into the new and used red barrels that have just been cleaned and swelled and are ready to receive the wine. We have four cellar rooms to work with and right now they are bursting at the seams, with only one being a cold room and three still being used as warm (fermentation) rooms. As soon as we complete fermentation and crushing, all the cellar rooms will be cold again.

Even though they are far from completed, the Reisling and the Vidal Blanc already taste good, and the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon both have really beautiful aromas. Now I will test again for chemical adjustments that need to be made, and we will rack the two white wines that have been sitting in the cold rooms. The cycle of work is never done, but things quiet down considerably after everything is completely fermented and in cold rooms. Then we wait for the magic to happen as the wines settle down and develop in the barrel. There is an old French saying that “only God makes wine”,
and this is a reference to the winter months coming up when our wines start to mellow out, mature and develop.

I will give you a report of the mellowing out in mid-winter…

Your TOTW winemaker,
Donna Evers