The Un-Glamorous Side to Wine Making

Today I realised one of the benefits of being a thin wine maker when I had to clean out the tanks and containers. Yesterday, after we tested the Viognier and the Ph was down to the required level, we pumped the premier 200 litres off into our new Italian stainless steel tank which has a lid with an inflatable seal and a fermenting bung so it keeps all oxygen off the wine:cleaning 004

Then we blended the remainder of the premier ferment with the ferment which we’d left in the “Annabel” tank, which had been fermenting too fast (becomes too dry) and pumped it into an oak barrel. It will still have some yeast cells in it, but the yeast will counteract the oak. We don’t want to over-oak the fruit. Here it is in the barrel, with its own little fermenting bung:cleaning 003

So just now I had to crawl into this little hole in “Annabel” and scrub out her insides with a steel wool so she’s ready to take the Syrah juice this weekend. Lord knows what anyone would have thought if they’d come to the door of the winery and seen my butt sticking out out of the 1200 litre stainless steel tank, legs, stretched across the winery floor, gumboots attached. I must say though, it was a lovely smell inside that tank.

The cap on the Syrah has dropped and we’ll let it sit this week. It’s a gorgeous colour with the look and smell of cassis. Would make a lovely fabric:cleaning 001

To put it in context, this is a shot taken a bit further back:cleaning 002

So it’s been too busy to go riding, to go biking, to do anything else but look after the wine. The Pinot Gris is selling like hot cakes. I called into Martinborough Winemaker Services this morning to collect another ten cases to take to Wellington tomorrow, and Lewis was as pleased as Punch in their brand new, huge, warehouse. It was amazing to see all our James wines in their own special corner, now much easier to locate when we need them. Quite inspiring to see all those cases stacked up high, knowing all that wine comes out of our ground here. But, enough romanticising, back to the steel wool, the rubber gloves, head down, butt up.

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