Winemaker's Blog


Dr. Crane To Barrel

Dr. Crane To Barrel

The Dr. Crane finished fermentation and was placed in a new oak barrel for aging.  The aging process will last last roughly 2 years and will impart oak flavors as well as soften the wine.  Also, over the next couple of months or so the wine will complete malolactic fermentation...

Dr. Crane To Barrel

The Dr. Crane finished fermentation and was placed in a new oak barrel for aging.  The aging process will last last roughly 2 years and will impart oak flavors as well as soften the wine.  Also, over the next couple of months or so the wine will complete malolactic fermentation.  (Note: it was interesting to listen to the ML occurring...putting your ear to the barrel’s bung hole allowed one to hear a distinct cracking sound that results from the bacterial ML fermentation process).

The wine was kept on its must (grape skins) for about two weeks.  During which it was ‘punched down’ a few times a day to increase the wine to skin contact. The slurry of grapes / skins is then put through a press. The liquid that runs off prior to applying any pressure to the press is called the free run juice.  This free run had a deep rich color and was nearly opaque with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, fig and tobacco, and a balance of acid and sweetness with a nice long finish.  In short, the makings of great wine.

The free run juice made up about 80% of the volume in the barrel.  The other 20% was a mixture of pressed ‘fractions.’  These fractions are juice to which we applied a certain level of pressure, measured in Bars.  For example, we pressed at 0.2 Bars and this fraction was full of chalky tannins.  We then applied a little more pressure (0.4 Bars) and the juice (wine) that resulted was clear and less tannic (oddly enough), but had a sweeter taste.  Apparently, at higher pressures some of the residual sugars get pressed out of the skins and much of the initial tannins have been squeezed out already.  These are the two fractions that we added to our barrel to make up the remaining 20%.  We continued to press the grapes up to 1 Bar - this juice was added to a separate barrel that will be used as topping liquid or to add more structure to the wine if needed.

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Dr. Crane To Barrel