Bryersantís Winemaking Update

It has been a fun time learning the wine making process.  From the bubbling of the initial fermentation process to the juice squirting mess that comes with the pressing process, I am looking forward to learning more about how to make fantastic wine.

Carl and I had the opportunity on Sunday to visit Phil and Debra Long at Longevity to get some input on our first winemaking attempt.  When we arrived, they were in clean up mode as they had just finished the crush of their own new addition.  Even though they were still busy working with the grapes, they graciously took time to examine our meager sized batch.

Thanks to Phil it looks like we may have identified the varietal of gape growing in Grandma’s backyard.  After smelling our wine, Phil commented, “It smells like Concord.”  Well, not quite the wine grapes we were hoping they would be, but it is learning the process that we really care about.  Phil checked the acidity levels and they were a little (a lot) too high, which is an indication that the grapes might have bee picked to early.  I guess the Grandma method of identifying the right time to pick the grapes doesn’t work well for wine making.

Phil went over a couple of ways to identify the right time to pick.  The most accurate method is to test the Brix (sugar level) of the grapes, but the state of the seeds can also be a helpful indicator.  We will definitely be incorporating more accurate measures in the future.

It looks like our next step is to hurry up and wait.  At this point the wine needs to be kept in a temperature controlled environment in order for the remaining sediment to fall and for the wine to age.  We might add some oak chips in a couple of weeks for a little oaky flavor.  I’m not expecting this wine to taste good.  In fact, I will be surprised if it is even drinkable.  We will see what happens.

Thanks again to Phil and Debra.  They have shown that they really do live and enjoy the process of making wine and sharing the passion with others.

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