Fall is here – California & Italian Juices

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a bunch of wine

Image by iamvhl via Flickr

I just ordered my California Juices: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 Pinot noir. They will be available to pick up in mid September. I also ordered my Italian Juices: 1 Barolo, 1 Chianti and 2 Brunello to be picked up beginning of October. This year I also will do 2 kits (Rioja). Rioja is a major Spanish wine that tastes so good. unfortunately I have not been able to get it as juices so I do the kits. I will buy them in September. By mid September the cellar temps are dropping to low 70’s or upper 60’s and that is a great cold fermenting temperature. This will give me a total of 8 – 6 gallon demijohn‘s of wine or about 240 bottles. I did 6 chilean juices in spring which yielded about 180 bottles. That is a total of 420 bottles. Much more than we drink or give away but I am still building wine reserves in my cellar so I can drink 3-4 year old bottles normally.

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Spring Wine Making

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A 6.5-gallon (24.7 l) glass carboy acting as a...

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Spring is a time that I bottle my fall Italian & Californian wines, freeing up my carboys and demijohns for the Spring Chileans. I ordered 6 – 6 gallon bucks of Chilean juice this year. It has completed primary fermentation in the plastic buckets with the yeast and has been siphoned into carboys and demijohns for secondary fermentation. Tomorrow I will check Specific Gravity readings and if ready will add some sulphites to stop fermentation, rack to clean off raw sediment and move them into cold storage for aging. At this point they are technically wines but not very good yet. They are way to young to drink. As they slowly age they will mature and get much better tasting. Then I will bottle them and let them age for 2 years in the bottles. At that time they will be ripe for drinking and enjoying. Here is to enjoying an ancient drink we call wine!

Getting Ready for Summer

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My cellar runs about 71 F in the summer and 54 F in the winter. Most of the winter I can shut down my cellar AC unit and it remains at a nice 55F cellar temperature. As summer approaches I need to use a cooling unit to cool the room and maintain the 55F temperature. I have been working on better insulating the door since I am losing coolness through it and under it. I added weather striping around the door and glued an insulation board to the back of the door. This should help defray AC costs in the height of the summer months.

It is almost time to bottle the fall wines (California & Italian Must). As I get into this project I will keep you posted on how the wine did over the winter. I also ordered my Chilean Must for delivery in May. This will ferment/age until the fall.

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