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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fermentation Gone Wild

Below is a puncheon of Mourvèdre from Girard wildly fermenting. We don't inoculate our wines with commercial yeast - instead we rely on the ancient method of just letting it ferment. Each vineyard seems to have its own specific yeast and each varietal has it own pattern.

In this case, the yeast is causing a very light, sea foam like, bubbling.


And yes, it is a pain to clean up.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Some Brief Notes

We have already gotten busy with the 2008 season and, believe it or not, with wrapping up 2006. We have been busy blending our final 2006 wines (and even a reserve 2005 bottling of Syrah.)

Tim Patterson's article in Wine and Vines on wild yeast features us and it a worthwhile read.
Using wild yeast is "not safe winemaking," says Greg La Follette, who does it at Tandem Winery.
Chris Loxton, former winemaker at Wellington now producing his own Loxton Cellars wines in Sonoma County, does most of his Zinfandel and half of his Syrah with ambient yeast, aiming for complexity and mouthfeel, even if it means giving up a little fruitiness. Greg La Follette at Tandem Winery, a Sonoma Pinot and Chardonnay specialist, sees complexity and mouthfeel as the result not only of multiple natural yeast strains, but of having all of them scuffle to get their work done. Jared and Tracey Brandt at A Donkey and a Goat, one of the San Francisco East Bay's many start-up warehouse wineries, got their training under an old-school winemaker in France, and try not to add anything to their reds or whites--yeast, nutrient, you name it--in hopes of getting more out of them.

Read the whole article at http://www.winesandvines.com

Plastic is a hot topic these days. We make our wines in oak for a variety of reason - one of the health. The concerns about plastic have caused Nalgene to stop making a whole product line. Some worthwhile reads:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/business/18plastic.htm
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/media/questions/sya-bpa.cfm

And lastly, Steve Lightner posted about our little experiment on his blog On The Contrary - http://www.onthecontrary.us

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