Monday, March 1, 2010
Purifying the wines
So we made it to March. The snow is mostly melted and the sun is starting to dry out the vineyard and the fields. Nellie, our neighbor, is pruning grapevines outside now, bundled up tightly against the wind.
Last week was a very successful week in the winery. We removed the Bentonite, then added cream of tarter and dropped the temperature on the Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, and the Rosé. This cold storage process is designed to stabilize the wine and prevent the deposition of crystals in wine when it's chilled. Finding tiny crystals at the bottom of your wine bottle is a commonly recognized wine flaw. They aren't harmful, calcium tartrate or potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar), substances which originate from the grapes and settle when the wine becomes supersaturated at low temperatures, but it's best to get them out before bottling.
After putting the wines through cold storage, they are ready to be filtered! The process can take a mere 1 1/2 hours like the Concord, or over 6 hours for the Chambourcin. Either way, the finished products are beautifully clear wines, ready for bottling.
The Traminette will be filtered this week and everything is on track for our bottling date on March 29th. Come and join us if you want to see how it goes- I'm pretty curious myself!