Another Vintage Bites The Dust
By Jen Pfeiffer
While we are all enjoying the last of the balmy autumn days, the vintage period draws to an end for the local vignerons of the region. After the compulsory sleep in and lazy weekend are enjoyed, there are still plenty of jobs to keep a winemaker busy post harvest!
Things slow right down in the vineyard, while we wait for leaves to drop before pruning can begin (normally around June). General maintenance of the post and trellis systems is made, as well as preparations for the planting of a cover crop between the rows.
In the winery, all of the vintage equipment must be sanitised and decommissioned. Tanks are cleaned, pumps serviced and grape harvesters and grape crushers are put to rest for another year.
Full chemical analysis on the wines made from the year is undertaken, with various acids present in wine measured, and final sugar and alcohol levels established. Of course, the wines are tasted at this time as well.
The first process of clarification of the wine can occur, with what we call racking. Once fermentation is complete, all the grape and yeast solids settle on the bottom of the tank. Racking is the term used to describe taking the clean wine from the top of the tank and leaving the solids behind. Rackings can be made to and from both tanks and/or barrels.
Blending can also happen at this time, after the assessment of different batches from the vintage.
Some wines are also bottled. Generally speaking, these are aromatic, un-wooded white wines, and red wines made for early consumption. For Pfeiffer Wines these are usually Frontignac, Gamay, Riesling and Chardonnay Marsanne.
Ahhhh…..another vintage bites the dust!!!!!