Sunday, October 18, 2009

Punching Down the Must!

"What kind of weird title is that, Sharine?," you say.

"That doesn't make any sense."

Well, as David Lee Roth, former lead singer of Van Halen, once said in an interview,

"Flatter not thyself, my son. It makes no sense to you!"

My title makes perfect sense to someone who speaks "vinology!"

First, this post is about the grapes we harvested and crushed at SRV on October 10, 2009, which you see here in the photo.

The grapes have been in three food grade barrels since that fateful afternoon.

As the grapes rest, the skins plus bits of stems and leaves and other debris, come to the top of the barrel, forming what is called "must."

Essentially, it's a thick cake-y crust.

The crust or "must" must be stirred back into the juice several times each day to create a consistent mixture.

The process is called punching down the must.

Here's a picture of Ron doing the punching.

Kevin made a special wood tool for the job.

Punching down the wine multiple times each day is also important for keeping the fermentation process going.

Now, here I am trying (yes, I know there is no try, there is only do), but for real, people, I could NOT punch down the must!

Look, they even put me on a step stool so I could get some serious leverage.

But no go.

The must is approximately 8-12 inches thick, and it is really dense.

I consider myself pretty strong for all of my 105 lbs., but apparently the must doesn't agree.

Okay, so I'm no heavy weight!

Anyway, Maryella and Kevin, and their friend Dave, share punching down duties.

This process lasts for 7-10 days until the wine is ready to press.

We'll handle that process in an upcoming post, so check back, or just become a follower! We do some cool stuff.

This is what the grapes look like just after the must in punched down.

Frothing grapes and juice that smell so good and look so pretty!

This vintage has not yet been named, but we all hope it's going to be fantastic!

No comments: