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The Winemaking Procedure – Part 1

January 7, 2010

Garagiste: \ga-räzh-eest\ n fr. garer to dock, to protect.
A passionate winemaker who creates fine limited production wines (occasionally in his or her garage)

Here is the first step, in our 8 step series, towards becoming a Garagiste, please feel free to post comments, as I am sure there will be many questions.  Look for our additional 7 posts over the next few days to complete the winemaking process.

Step 1 – Process The Grapes

  • Inspect grapes and remove unwanted grapes, leaves, debris and mold.
  • Perform the Crush and de-stem grapes.
  • Option: Reserve 5 to 10% of stems if desired and place into SS tank. Rarely implemented.
  • Option: Use an enzyme spray on the grapes when crushing to extract color. This method can be used to eliminate the need or shorten the time for Cold Soaking.  This will increase yield and color.
  • Product: Rapidase Ex-Color or other brand.
  • Formula: Rapidese Ex-Color ¼ teaspoon in 1/2 pt of distilled water for 72 pounds of grapes in Sprayer. Spray as they enter hopper.
  • Calculate anticipated gallons of finished wine record calculation for later use.
  • Option: Add Fermaid O at crush
  • Option: Yeast hulls at crush
  • Option: Add Tannin Vr Supra at crush
  • Option: Add Opti Red or Booster Rouge at Crush
  • Formula: 36 pounds (case) will yield 2.5-3.0 gallons. Use a low or middle of the road approach with consideration to adjustments later.
  • Option: Consider using Potassium Metabisulfite, K Meta, to stall wild yeast. Remove 4 gallons of skins and juice in a bucket for a yeast culture prior to adding the K Meta then add K meta to vat.
  • Option: Cold Soak Grapes. This can increase color and create a more fruit forward taste. For 2-5 days keep vat at no higher than 50 degrees and cover. Use CO2 to blanket the must. Punch down twice a day. Consider using K Meta to stall wild yeast. Remove 4 gallons of skins and juice in a bucket for a yeast culture prior to adding the K Meta. Put bucket in a refrigerator. Then add K Meta
  • Formula for adding Potassium Metabisulfite, K Meta: ½ teaspoon for 100 pounds of grapes dissolved in water.
  • Option: Split grapes evenly in two vats if and select 2 different yeasts to experience different characteristics in the wine after completion.
  • Option: **Saignée, remove 5 to 15% of juice immediately after crush for white wine or after a day of cold soak for rose style wine to enhance depth and complexity. Treat juice removed to a separate white wine making process.

Equipment needed for this phase:

Large food grade plastic wide top Vat or container, crusher/destemmer, Plastic buckets, Punch down tool, measuring spoons, Potassium Metabisulfite.

Perform = Must do operations
Option = Weigh carefully
Test = Must do operations
Record Values of all tests performed

**Saignée – a method of rosé production that involves bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins. Pronounced ‘sonyay’. In shory saignée is one of the methods of making rosé wines, along with blending white and red wine (this is the method used to for rosé Champagne), along with a simply macerating (allowing contact with skins to leech out color and flavor) the wine with the skins for a short period of time. The difference between simply macerating the wine and removing the must and saigneé is that the wine left after the bleed-off is oftentimes still being made into a more concentrated red wine, and the rosé is a byproduct, often sold cheap (or was until rosé prices started to rise).

Now, onto More Options in The Winemaking Procedure – Part 1

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Anthony Forte permalink*
    January 7, 2010 6:41 pm

    All of the options that you are referencing, what effects will they have on the wine, what makes them optional and what practices do you follow? Are your practices different dependent upon the grape varietal?

  2. genefiorot permalink
    January 7, 2010 6:49 pm

    You are requesting I write a book. But I will participate in a discussion on each of the points you raise.

  3. Anthony Forte permalink*
    January 7, 2010 10:14 pm

    Hahaha, not a book, maybe a short explanation, you started the post, I’m just looking for reasoning behind why those steps are optional and what your best practices are!

  4. genefiorot permalink
    January 7, 2010 10:55 pm

    Well lets start with with a few options.
    Option: Reserving stems. Sometimes done with Pinot Noir to increase tannin. General rule Stems make a veg-ital flavor and bitterness. Keep them out of the vat.
    Option: Use of Enzymes. There are many types and they do different things.
    The two most used types are maceration enzymes for extraction of color and tannin and pectic enzymes used for settling the lees better and more compact and clearing the wine. I use both types. However you can make a fine wine without them. A winemaker’s choice. Most up to date winemakers are using them.
    Option: Add Fermaid O at crush. The subject of yeast nutrients needs its own Post. Same for Opti Red/Booster Rouge, Fermaid K, DAP, and Yeast hulls.
    Option Add Tannin. The concept here is the color extracted during crush and early in fermentation has little tannin to attach itself to since the wine has not yet gained tannin form the grape skins in the early stages. The color elements can be lost forever if they are not locked in. The Tannin is sacrificial in nature and is lost by the end of the fermentation. So it does not really add tannin to the final result. I just started using this more modern approach.
    Option: Using K meta at crush. This needs a post of its own.
    Option: Cold Soak This needs a post of its own
    Option: Saignee This needs a Post of its own.
    I will have to work on those unless someone wants to volunteer. It could easily be a book before this is all done.

  5. Anthony Forte permalink*
    January 8, 2010 8:02 pm

    So, when we talk about the “Cap” in the Vat after the crush, the larger the cap, the more color the wine will have?

  6. genefiorot permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:22 am

    No the cap , well its thickness usually is a function of the size of the berries and their respective thickness.

  7. January 10, 2010 5:57 pm

    I would think the ‘real’ definition of a garagiste is someone who dedicates their garage to the craft instead of their car…

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