Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fermentation is in full swing!

Finally, the day arrived where I walked in to work in the morning and I could smell the ferments! This is when you know vintage really is in full swing. We also had to have all the doors open for a while due to the buildup of carbon dioxide inside the cellar!

What a strange week it was. It started off with the enjoyable job of transferring the first ferment of the season into barrel. Having practised a few barrel transfers the week previous, I was ready and excited to take on the task. The difference when transferring a ferment, as opposed to finished wine, is that the yeast can get a little over-excited with the movement and influx of oxygen. And when yeast gets excited, you get a whole lot of foaming, which can result in overflow of tanks or barrels if you are not extra careful. 

My poor attempt at a barrel-filling selfie
So although the task was fun, it was a drawn-out process running the pump super slowly to ensure everything stayed in the barrels. I definitely had a sense of satisfaction as I finished filling the last barrel without any loss of Chardonnay and popped in the fermentation bung.

After an absolutely outrageous Tuesday, with three white presses followed by destemming of three batches of pinot noir (all in one very extended shift), my mood had swung to exhaustion. Fortunately, I had time to regain my composure over the remainder of the week, as some light rain put a dampener on grape picking and our rate of pressing slowed down.

I did hear along the grapevine though that there will be sunny skies this weekend, so no doubt it will be all systems go again for Week 4. All I can hope is that we stick to three lots of fruit per day!