Monday, 8 November 2010

What Happened Next - the Winery

If you saw Countryfile on the BBC two weeks ago they had a feature on English wine and filmed a vineyard owner delivering his grapes to Three Choirs Winery in Gloucestershire. Four weeks ago - that was me. Tasting the Juice, taking a hydrometer mesurement and generally trying to take it in despite more tired  than running the marathon.Three years work sitting in  9 plastic bins outside a winery in Gloucestershire on a cold wet Sunday morning. At least Martin the winemaker had the good grace to comment on how good the fruit  looked before carting them off on the forklift.





This is one of the Chardonnay bins being loaded into the crusher which also takes off the stems. Two days of nagging people to handle the grapes so that they don't get damaged undone in about 2 minutes and the result is -----





SPLURGE 1


Ahem - yes, the gentle moving of the precious juice using nothing but the force of gravity
that delicately transports the crushed grapes.

I should be in marketing.

No, get it into the press as soon as you can to get as little contact with oxygen as possible.






SPLURGE 2



This is the press just befor it's closed up and started. It works like a huge balloon that gently crushes the grapes as it inflates. The first portion goes off for the sparkling wine as it has to be very very lightly pressed and the last third will be used for still wine which needs a bit more body.  
This is where the wine is now - I know they aren't quite your gleaming new world winery stainless steel and look more like household hot water tanks but, they are actually double lined brewery tanks which are excellent at  keeping  variations in temperature down to a minimum.  -There are two tanks of sparkling blend, one predominantly Chardonnay, the other all Pinot. The tank for still wine is an equal blend of all three and we will be leaving it on it's lees after fermentation fo gain some extra complexity
If we have time we are going to call in to see how the wine is getting on at the end of this week which is going to be emotional. it's very easy to forget that it's there. It's very early to taste but we should be able to get some indication of how it's going to end up.

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