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Fri, 01 Jul 2011

Pressing Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Almost a month without a weblog post. Not that there's been nothing to write about, rather there has been too much and hence no time. Oh well.

Today I helped press some Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. I'm not going to be making this into wine, other students will do that later in the year. I benefited from this myself late last year, when I was able to use juice pressed by earlier students to make some white wine with another group in second semester -- a useful introduction to winemaking.

My group was the first to press today, starting at 7 am. I don't often go for walks at 6 am, as I did this morning to get to the bus, but I always I enjoy it when I do. The sky was just lightening enough to differentiate from the still dark land, and dark clouds were breaking up to show patches of lighter sky. There is a poetry to this time of morning which is quite unique. Certainly, it was a beautiful walk, and I was just sad I had to hurry to catch the bus.

Two groups pressed at the same time. We wanted to whole bunch press, but the grapes had been machine harvested so few were still in bunches. We did not use the crusher destemmer, though, so we sort of whole berry pressed I guess you could say.

Grapes being poured into the airbag press
Grapes being poured into the press

We used an airbag press, which can be less oxidative if used in conjuction with sulfur dioxide. Our group processed our fruit oxidatively (no sulfur dioxide at press, though we added some afterwards to protect against spoilage), the other did theirs reductively. It was interesting to see the differences.

What else? Oh, yes, as the grapes were machine harvested there was a certain amount of "matter other than grapes" (MOG). I can predict that this wine would pair well with escargot:

Snail shell in with the grape marc

Snail shell in with the grape marc

Well, the early start is really starting to have an effect on me. I think I'll be having an early night tonight. Anyone I've sent emails to tonight -- I've probably made some really stupid mistakes due to being half asleep! It's not a good idea to start emailing people when you're not really awake, I guess.

posted at: 01:50 | path: /wine/oenology_diploma | permanent link to this entry

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