November 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
After several months of seven-days-per- week work in the cellar transforming tons and tons of grapes into beautiful wine, now we begin the task of nurturing our babies to the bottle. First off, we start with the big clean-up of the cellar. Getting every last grape skin off our equipment floor and transforming what was a production facility back into a cellar for storing all of our barrels. I have already tasted through all of the wines that we produced for 2012, and we are seeing glimpses of brilliance! The main focus now is to monitor secondary fermentation and make sure that all of our wines go thru malolactic fermentation.
After tasting through the cellar, I am proud to say we have no stuck fermentations, and no sick wines- Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) or “rotten eggs” – which can occur from low nutrient in the vineyard. It is now time to top all of the barrels off to prevent oxidation and implement a sur lie program (stirring the lees) on wines that we feel can benefit.
It is also time for analysis on all of our wines. Most people think of winemakers as chemists. We do not prefer to think of ourselves that way, rather chefs in the cellar. But this time of year, we certainly need to put on the chemistry-hat. We take samples of each wine and run several analyses on each, including: pH, titratable acidity, alcohol, residual sugar, volatile acidity, and malic acid. This will give us a gauge of where our wines are on a chemistry side. But at Kokomo, what makes us feel warm and fuzzy is of course how the wines taste and smell!