The wine making operation is taking over. Since we don’t have a winery building yet, or even a garage in which to make wine, we are making it in the dining room. The livingroom area has been shrunk by moving easy chairs and wine racks, and there are six Brute food grade trash cans in the dining area with Zinfandel and Petite Syrah fermenting away. Anyone who walks in the house comments, “It smells like a winery in here!” This is a good thing, if it didn’t it would mean the wine was not fermenting properly. Rather than making wine in a house, we feel like we’re sleeping in a winery!
By tomorrow, the sugar in the grapes should be completely converted into alcohol, which means it’s wine! Then we’ll press off the wine from the skins and other bits by carting the trash cans back out to the porch (aka Crush Pad) and putting the “must” into the borrowed basket wine press. The liquid/wine will then go into our stainless steel maturation tank and glass carboys to rest awhile. We plan to rest awhile then too.
The other wine related task we’re doing this afternoon, is bottling the 2009 Estate Reserve Petite Sirah. This is the wine we made from last year’s grapes, that has been aging in glass carboys, with some oak for a few months too, in the dining/winery area. We will bottle and cork it, and clean out the carboys to use again tomorrow for the 2010 vintage. This will amount to only about 65 bottles of the 2009. We have washed used bottles, soaked off labels and I have printed our own labels off my home computer. This wine is NOT for sale. It will need to age in the bottles for another year, we’ve been told by experts, and then it is expected to be quite respectable. Beginners luck!