On the way back to the house, I picked up my good friend Keelyn, who was patiently waiting for my arrival at the local coffee joint not far from my place.
Some of you might remember Keelyn from my very first blog post and Sagra dei Funghi fame. Well presently, Kee is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. So seated activities, like destemming my five bins of grapes, was something that she was happy to partake in. Little did she (and I) know that it would take close to four hours. I think that she still wants to be my friend..
Fortified with huge ice coffees, (mine was huge anyway..remember I had been up since 4 am) the two of us got to work. Needless to say, I think that Keelyn displayed more of a talent for destemming than I did (think faster and more thorough). This time we did it the hard way, however if I make wine next year, I will certainly invest in a crusher/destemmer.
With all of the grapes in the bin, and only about 10% left as whole clusters. It was time for me to start stomping grapes! For reasons delineated above, Keelyn was excluded from this part of the process. So it was up to me! I scrubbed down my legs and feet with sodium percarbonate, then a quick dip in a sanitizing agent, then another quick dip in water to rinse..then I was good to go!
Stomp, stomp, slush, squish..ooh this feels great! After a morning and afternoon of working hard, it was nice to relax in a tub of fresh grapes and sip on a celebratory glass of Sekt Riesling.
My stomping (and drinking) lasted about 25 minutes. Here is a bird’s eye, or mumu’s eye view of the grape slurry. A picture of a true work in progress. What you will not see is a picture of my broken hydrometer (used to measure the density of a liquid/sugar) and me repeatedly cursing after I dropped it on the floor and broke it before being able to use it.
Note to self: Do not start “celebrating” until you have done your proper analysis! If I was working in a real winery, I would so fire me.
Anyway, I did pull a sample of fresh must and promptly refrigerated it to take a reading as soon as I bought another hydrometer. From this “sobering” misshap (disclaimer: I was not drunk, just super relaxed) I got serious and took my pH reading.
Hungry, humbled, and ready for a break, Keelyn and I headed out for a well deserved sushi dinner to round out a wonderful and rewarding day.
Next: Brix, potential alcohol, and punchdowns