Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Bottling Frenzy...

As I've mentioned before, I've let some cellar work go undone this winter and early spring while I've been dealing with some divorce-related crap. But the weather is warmer, my Chilean grape orders have started to arrive and I need to free up some cellar and carboy space!

The 3 carboys of chardonnay are happily fermenting away in the basement. Since the past couple of weeks have been fairly cool outside, I haven't needed to use water baths to keep the fermentation temperatures at or below 60 °F. I need to check the brix level in a day or two because I've noticed that the gas evolution is starting to slow down. So far, the aromas emanating from the airlocks are simply divine!

While the yeast are having a party on one side of the basement, I've been busy on the other side bottling some wine. Two weeks ago, I filtered and bottled the 2008 California Sauvignon Blanc (23 bottles) and this past weekend I bottled the dry Massachusetts Apple (15 bottles) and the dry CA Zinfandel Rose (20 bottles) wines. Still got 1 gal of the apple to bottle after the oak cubes do their thing. Check out the picture of the end results! Absolutely lovely clarity if I do say so myself. The Sauvignon Blanc needed to be filtered (I used a 0.5 micron filter) to remove some biolees that I added for a little more body, but the apple and rose wines cleared naturally with no fining or filtering. As an aside, the apple was the fastest clearing wine I've ever had.

The next step is to label and share my tasting notes, so stay tuned!

MA Winemaker


Greg said...

sounds fun! I was wondering if you had any tips for labeling. I am going to be bottling some of mine in the future and was wondering the best way to go about it. thanks!!

A Wine Student said...

I'm old school. I use Powerpoint to design the labels and print them out on regular paper (I can get 6 labels per sheet). Then I cut them apart and use an Elmer's washable glue stick to make them stick to the bottles. Really should take a picture of the final products, too. Shrink capsules provide a professional looking final touch, too. Pennies apiece, but they make the bottles look so good!

Greg said...

Great! I already have some designed, but I wasnt sure if there was a labeling software out there that printed the correct size and whatnot.

thanks for the info!

A Wine Student said...

Greg, you can get as fancy as you'd like. There is definitely label software that you can use, just depends if you want to spend the money. Microsoft Publisher is an option, too. Some folks print out to Avery labels, others use paper and glue. It's your choice!