2018 – winemaking update
November 2nd, 2018 | Harvest
Well, it seems like winter is finally here. Our extended, late summer is now well and truly over, as the more usual weather of rain and much cooler temperatures is finally upon us. Time to light the fire and put the slippers on!
Meanwhile, inside the wine cellar, after weeks of almost constant vigilance, the making of our 2018 wine is finally behind us. The fermentation period requires that we measure the density of the wine at least twice a day, every day (the density being an indicator of how quickly the fermentation is taking place), and this is where the temperature control really comes into its own. If the process is moving too quickly then lowering the temperature can help to reduce the speed of fermentation – conversely, if it is moving too slowly, then allowing a small increase of temperature will help to get things back on track. Controlling the length of fermentation will ultimately determine the style of wine produced, and suffice to say that a white wine made with a shorter, slightly higher temperature fermentation will be quite different from a wine made with a long, slow, cool fermentation. It’s really a matter of taste and down to the personal preference of the winemaker.
The final act that really brings the fermentation to a close is the addition of sulphur. This will effectively kill any yeast cells that are still active once all of the sugar has been consumed. For this we use tanks of pure, liquid sulphur dioxide, which is extremely hazardous and very dangerous to handle. Suffice to say that full face masks and protective equipment are very much the order of the day.