It’s Spring, it must be time to bottle the Californians & Italians

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English: Three bottles of Pinot Gris taken Apr...

English: Three bottles of Pinot Gris taken April 2nd, 2007 Bottle 1.) Italian Pinot Grigio Mezzacorona 2005 Bottle 2.) Alsatian Pinot Gris Trimbach Reserve 2002 Bottle 3.) Oregon Pinot Gris Eyrie Vineyards 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

yesterday I bottled my Californians & Italian wines. I had (2) 6 gallon carboys of each yielding 120 bottles of great wine. The (2) whites were a Californian Chardonnay and an Italian Pinot Grigio. The (2) reds were a Californian Pinot Noir and an Italian Chianti. They all tasted young but great. I bottled them and they are sitting upright in the box to allow corks to dry. Next week I will cap each bottle and flip them upside down for cold storage. I have been producing much more than we drink or give away so that we can build up the wine cellar. This allows us to drink 3-5 year old wines. Yum

The (2) whites were racked several times and are so clear you can easily see through them. A beautiful gold color.

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All racked Up & No Place to Go

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limoncello

limoncello (Photo credit: Shamballah)

I racked my (2) Californians and (2) Italians one last time before bottling in end of April. The (2) whites were so clear I could see through them clearly. They all tasted great. I will bottle in April and then into cold storage for aging. The Lemoncello was so yellow! I added sugar water and rest of vodka and it is now a little cloudy. It needs to sit until end of April. It should get a good yellow color by then. Then I will strain out lemon peels and bottle it. Lemoncello must be drunk iced in freezer for months. It won’t freeze but it will get syrupy and take the harsh edge off the vodka. Enjoy. Let me know what you are making.

Status Update

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The lemoncello is getting very yellow. It’s looking real good!

 

My two Californians and 2 Italian wines have been racked several times and are clear. The 2 whites are golden and very clear. I will be bottling in early may.

 

This summer I will be doing several kits for fall and winter wine production. I know I want a Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, Rioja, Chianti,

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon g...

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Hedges Vineyards in Red Mountain, Washington. Photo taken August 28th, 2007 with a Kodak z650 camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sangiovese, and several whites. We will see what’s available. Stay posted!

 

I opened a 2007 wine from my reserve section. WOW was that great! When you can make such great wine, age it to perfection and enjoy it…that’s wine making.

Amazing Clarity in White Wine

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This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always amazed at how clear I can get my white wines. When I first move them from the primary fermentor to secondary (glass), they are VERY cloudy almost milky. After 30 to 45 days they have cleared and I rack off the clear wine and throw away the sediment at the bottom. After  or 3 rackings, the white wine is crystal clear! After all who wants to drink a white wine that is not clear? Enjoy your wine making.

Winter and Racking Time

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Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Image via Wikipedia

Usually I don’t mind racking in the winter. Afterall there isn’t much else to do when it’s cold outside. This year delivered one of the warmest winters in history to the northeast. With that said, I racked my Californian & Italian juices this week as well as two kits (Rioja). As I rack each wine, I try a small sample to see how it’s progressing. The Californian Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were both great but still young. The Italian Barolo was great and could be drunk now. The Italian Brunello and Chianti were also great but still young. Brunellos typically take 4 to 5 years to reach a great mature flavor. The Rioja kits were magnificent and ready to drink. None of these will be drunk yet. I will bottle them in April, freeing up carboys and demijohns for this years Chilean wines. They will sit in cold storage for 2 to 3 years minimum and then be enjoyed. Hears to the great taste of wine!

It’s Cold Storage For My Wines

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Gąsior

Image via Wikipedia

The Italian juices have finished fermintation (specific gravity is .996 or below). I racked them and cleaned the carboys to get rid of sledge and racked wine back into carboys. The juice is technically a wine now. It tastes like wine and has an alcohol content. They may be young still and their taste will develop with time. After racking I added 1/4 tsp of sulphite to protect the wine for long term storage. Most will be drunk in 2-3 years but some may last for 6-7 yaers in the bottle. I moved the carboys to a temperature controlled room (cold storage) where I store all my bottles. They will sit here until I need the carboys to start the cycle over again. Then I will bottle the wines and store them in cold storage.

It’s a Good Time of the Year

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St Sadurni d'Anoia - Cordoniu Grid - Shoes on ...

Image by Shoes on Wires via Flickr

My Californian juices and Rioja kits are finished fermentation and have been moved to cold storage (a room that stays at 55 degrees F for wine aging) along with my bottles of wine from previous years. My Italian juices are still in secondary fermentation. The specific gravity is around 1.000. After it gets down to .996 or lower, secondary fermentation will be finished. I will then rack off the wine and get rid of any sediments, add water to bring juice back to 6 gallon level and add a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Metasulfite to help it age longer. I enjoy drinking my wines 3 years old or older. I typically set aside 5-10 bottles of the 30 for long-term storage (Reserve bottles). I have drunk some of these as old as 6 years. Once the Italians are moved to cold storage there isn’t much to do. I will rack at least one more time to ensure a clear crisp wine. In the spring I buy my Chilean juices and bottle the Californians, Rioja and Italians. The process starts all over again. Home made wine is so much better than most wines to buy commercially.

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