PressZilla Recap

November 18, 2013

It’s wine…
What a difference a year makes! Last year, press day was very long, very messy, and fraught with frustration. You may recall we had a couple of “grapesplosions.” I never intended a coop experience to be quite like what we experienced in 2012. In contrast, this last weekend’s press event was performed over two days, rather than one. In addition, we now had a year to reflect on our process and BabyZilla was traded in for her big brother, PressZilla. Our new three ton press was just what the doctor ordered. Ha, Ha! There may come a day when I no longer feel the need to point out my humor. I think my comment in my last update about the A-team inspired the coop faithful that attended on Sunday. And yes, we were all done and cleaned up in time for the Pats game. That part of the day does not require additional commentary.

In my last mail I also expressed that I was humbled observing the effort of so many coop volunteers willing to providing their precious time and efforts. I must repeat myself since that is the perfect sentiment to describe my feelings. Watching the unselfish participation and teamwork of all of you stirs me with emotion. I observed that we were all having fun, and for the most part, it was a much more organized and stress-free experience. In regard to the outcome, the new press was more efficient, we experienced very few issues, and as a result, we had more finished volume than expected by about 500 liters. The Zinfandel blend outperformed the Cabernet blend in volume despite similar amounts of fruit initially.

So, our 2013 red wines are now comfortably in stainless and Flextank secondary fermenters. The process of malolactic fermentation in now ongoing and will complete over the next three weeks. MLF is a special bacteria introduced near endpoint fermentation, primarily to good red wines. It will complete fermentation for residual sugar and provide a more smooth, round and complex wine. MLF take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete. At about one month from now, possibly the first weekend in November, we may be ready for our first racking. Again, racking is a procedure whereby we pump off the gravity settled wine, clean the fermenters to remove the settled debris called gross lees and pump the wine back into the cleaned fermenter. Every two to three weeks hence, we will repeat racking until there is very little debris in the bottom of the fermenters. Sometime in January, the wine will be ready for oak aging.

Those that

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attended the press events got to experience one week old wine. All agreed that the wines are amazingly good already and from what I am experiencing to date, I feel that this vintage shout be at least as good as our 2012 wines that we are enjoying now. As far as I am concerned that would be a home-run.

Short and sweet at this point… lots of photos and video documentation to follow soon.
Thanks my friends,