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Alan A.

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Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Alan A. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:57 am

Well, I’ve lined up my grapes for this coming fall. I’m buying 100 lbs of sangiovese from BlackStock Vineyards located in the Appalachian foothills near Dahlonega, GA. According to the owner, the heat this year is pushing his merlot and sangiovese to ripen early and the projected harvest time for these two varieties is the second week of Sept. I’m also planning to try to scam some Norton from a new winery/vineyard located near where I live in north central Alabama. The winery (Ozan Cellars) is schedule to open soon and grows Norton and F/A hybrids. If that doesn’t work out, I’m perusing the 2006 frozen grape price list from Brehm Vineyards. I have my eye on some Mendocino Co. syrah and Sonoma Co. grenache (can someone say Rhone-style blend?)

To the other home winemakers on the forum, what’s your winemaking plans for this fall?
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Paul B. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:15 am

Alan, what a great topic.

In fact, just this past week I have begun my efforts to procure a source for my grapes this year. I am trying to locate a well-tended Concord vineyard in the Grimsby area that will let me pick by hand. I am pretty much finished with pre-picked/machine-plucked grapes that are haphazardly tossed into bushels, with the ones on the bottom getting invariably squashed and rotten. If I'm paying for the fruit, I want quality fruit - and when I make my homemade labruscas, I am meticulous about quality at every step of the way.

I have a real soft spot for Niagara, the variety; but I've got some still from 2005 and so I really want to make more dry Concord this year. I haven't made a really good one since 2002, and really want to repeat that.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:50 am

We're in for 1000 lbs of syrah and 1000 of sangio from the Sauber vineyard in El Dorado county. We used to get our sangio from the Michael David vineyard in Lodi, but they jacked their prices way up this year (most likely in a successful attempt to keep small-timers like us out of their hair). We may get 500 lbs of malbec from Sauber as well. We'll probably get 1000 lbs of tempranillo from St. Amant in Lodi, but we haven't talked to them yet.

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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:57 pm

I'm way behind in my '05 vintage - still have to bottle 5 gals each of a red blend, Cab Franc, 6.5 gals of Riesling and 21.5 gals of Vidal. Need to find time to wash bottles. :x
That being said, I am going to pursue the purchase of Vignoles, which may force me to make Finger Lakes trip. I believe I have a new source for Seyval Blanc grapes and will be obtaining Steuben and Cayuga grapes from my usual source here in Niagara County. In addition, I will probably obtain Riesling, Chardonnay and Gamay as juice/must from a presshouse across the border in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. If it looks like a good, ripe vintage, I may also obtain Cab Franc from them.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Ernie in Berkeley » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:41 pm

200 lbs Shenandoah Valley (of California) zinfandel.
250 lbs Sonoma Coast pinot noir
150 lbs Mendocino grenache
100 lbs Amador syrah, but the '05 turned out so well that I might bump up the quantity.
100 lbs petite sirah

The grenache, syrah and petite will be blended in various Rhone Rangers proportions, and the zin will get about 10-15% petite.

(that's odd-Firefox's spelling checker flagged all the varietal names as misspellings. And just now, it also flagged "Firefox")
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Bob Henrick » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:16 pm

Being blue deep within a red state.

Alan, I am going to read that as you being a Univ of Kentucky fan, although you live in Alabama! :D
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this f

by Alan A. » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:59 am

Ooooh! A fellow SEC sports fan! 8)

Nah, it's my sad attempt on making a snarky political statement. Me living in 'bamer and being a godless liberal and all. :wink:
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Victorwine » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:22 pm

Hi Alan,
20 Cases (lugs) Zin (720 lbs)
10 Cases Barbera (360 lbs)
6 Cases Alicante (252 lbs)


Salute
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Carlo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:49 pm

I plan on getting a half ton of Pinot from the Allen Vineyard in Headsburg on the Russian River.
This will be second crop and I`m sure of 27brix or so ........
So lots of water to make it frement dry.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:12 pm

Carlo wrote:I plan on getting a half ton of Pinot from the Allen Vineyard in Headsburg on the Russian River.
This will be second crop and I`m sure of 27brix or so ........
So lots of water to make it frement dry.

27 Brix!! Yikes. In this area, we're happy to see 21 for Pinot Noir when picked for ripeness based on acid content. Perhaps you could arrange to get some early with lower brix instead of adding water. PN ripens late September in our area. The only time I ever got grapes at 27 Brix was a late harvest Vidal (picked in December) and a late harvest Delaware (picke din mid-October), both whites. I did get Foch (red) a few times at around 25 brix, picked in late September.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Carlo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:56 pm

second crop means low cost on fruit like almost free.. :D
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Paul B. » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:28 am

Howie Hart wrote:Perhaps you could arrange to get some early with lower brix instead of adding water.


Carlo - I agree with Howie's advice. Most winemaking texts call for adding water to labrusca must to bring down the acidity, but I have eschewed this flawed philosophy in favour of cold stabilizing the wine after fermentation. I really feel that adding water compromises the structure and backbone of the wine, and it obviously dilutes the flavour components as well - not a good idea.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Carlo » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:12 am

and i agree but when i worked at the winery inside that same vineyard we did the same thing...and we were Parker driven...
and got high marks

plus it`s only 1/2 a ton

this is home wine and i`m not competing with Rochioli..........well maybe

cold stabilizing ..............i`m a home winemaker and during crush i don`t have that option......all tanks are full or MT to be filled...
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:45 am

Carlo wrote:second crop means low cost on fruit like almost free.. :D

Hard to beat a deal like that! Adding about 10% water may be your only option to bring the brix down close to 24. I'd recommend adding the water after pressing, but before fermentation stops, so you know exactly what volume you have and doing a titration for TA and probably adding some tartaric acid as needed. Also, a high alcohol yeast strain such as EC-1118. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:50 am

Carlo wrote:cold stabilizing ..............i`m a home winemaker and during crush i don`t have that option......all tanks are full or MT to be filled...

Cold stabilizing is not the same as a cold soak, which takes place after crushing. Cold stabilization is subjecting the finished wine (well after the crush) to below freezing temperatures prior to bottling for the purpose of precipitating out tartrates and helps to clear the wine. Although generally used in whites, it may help round out reds also.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Carlo » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:12 pm

sorry i meant cold soak.........I can`t write worth a darn after that second glass........
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:04 pm

I'm having second thoughts now about my plans for this year. I will be doing my traditional even year bubbly, but I think I'll finally take the great leap this year, buy a 60-gallon barrel and fill it with a Bordeaux blend (CS, CF, & Merlot) and allow it to age for 2 years in the barrel. I am pretty well stockpiled with whites from '05, so I may limit myself to Steuben Rose, Seyval and Vignoles, and, of course the bubbly cuvee.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Ernie in Berkeley » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:53 pm

I'd be tempted to try a trick a pinot producer friend of mine uses: water back to the desired brix before fermentation, then bleed off exactly the amount you added. This gives complete skin contact at lower sugar, and you can make a nice rose saignee from the bleed-off.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Carlo » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:20 pm

Well grapes are a coming on Tuesday !
Sauv. Blanc from Rutherford (Napa Valley)
Chardonay from Sonoma Mountain

here we go
it was nice posting see you in a month :(
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:48 pm

Carlo wrote:Well grapes are a coming on Tuesday !
Sauv. Blanc from Rutherford (Napa Valley)
Chardonay from Sonoma Mountain

here we go
it was nice posting see you in a month :(


Good luck, Carlo! Hope everyting goes well.


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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Victorwine » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:14 pm

Good luck Howie! Are we thinking of a co-fermentation or seperate fermentations?

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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:58 pm

Victorwine wrote:Good luck Howie! Are we thinking of a co-fermentation or seperate fermentations?

Salute

Good question. I would more than likely buy the raw materials as crushed must from a presshouse in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont., in 23L pails, I could go either way. The decision may be dependant on my primary fermentation container capacity. I'll have to research this more. Experience tells me each pail will yield about 4 gallons after pressing, so I'd buy 18 pails to allow for topping up over 2 years in the barrel. However, if I could find a good source of grapes from say, Long Island, I might drive down there to get them. I'm thinking of 60/25/15 blend of CS/Merlot/CF.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Dan Smothergill » Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:51 pm

I'll be doing my usual Labruscas and Hybrids: Delaware, Dutchess, Diamond, Catawba, Steuben, Cayuga. Maybe some Niagara and Traminette too. I keep trying to cut back but it never seems to happen. I buy juice in the Finger Lakes and in NorthEast, PA.
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Re: Home winemakers: What's your winemaking plans for this fall?

by Howie Hart » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:54 pm

Dan Smothergill wrote:I'll be doing my usual Labruscas and Hybrids: Delaware, Dutchess, Diamond, Catawba, Steuben, Cayuga. Maybe some Niagara and Traminette too. I keep trying to cut back but it never seems to happen. I buy juice in the Finger Lakes and in NorthEast, PA.

Dan, I may take a trip to the FLs in October to score some Vignoles. Maybe we can hook up and maybe I can talk PaulB into joining us. 8)
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