Well, we are plugging along as the harvest is turning out to be a very late one for many varieties. This seems to be true all the way to New York and beyond. Mother Nature has not been very co-operative, as the grapes ripen at an incredibly slow pace.
In the meantime, the Chardonnay is done fermenting in the barrels and is going through malo-lactic fermentation. As mentioned in previous posts, malo-lactic fermentation is a bacterial fermentation that I induce that changes the malic acid into lactic acid, and creates that luscious, buttery character found in the best Chardonnays.
We are also racking the whites off the lees (sediment) into clean tanks to settle out some more. This process will be repeated a few more times, allowing the wines to clear as much as possible.
We continue to re-hydrate barrels to receive the red wines that are settling. When barrels stand empty, they dry up some and they can leak badly. So it is important to get them re-hydrated. We steam them and then fill them with water to tighten them up. So far, we have Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Zinfandel, and Malbec fermented and pressed.
There is much to be done before I leave for the American Wine Society Conference in Florida. I am counting the days!