Adventures in Winemakeing – Our first Zin harvest

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Its hard to believe it been three years since we planted those bear root vines. Today we harvested our grapes to make our first batch of wine. We ended up with about 100 lbs of grapes, De-stemmed them by hand and we now have about 12 gallons of MUST in our primary fermentation container. Its been an extreamly busy September and October and I kick myself for not having harvested about 4 weeks earlier. I was waiting for the grapes to just begin to raisin but I waited too long and most of the crop is over ripe. We left 2/3rd of it on the vine and still harvested 100 lbs of grapes. I didn’t thing 40 plants would make this much MUST. I am estimating about 40-50 bottles of wine. Since this is our first batch of wine, its been a learning curve. Our first BRIX reading of the must was pretty low–about 16. It should be around 29. We added sugar to the MUST as prescribed and we popped the BRIX value to 35. Next time we have to add half as much and measure as we add. We added “Jesus Units” to bring it back to 29. Because of the dilution, our acidity was too low, so we ended up adding some tartaric Acid to raise it to .65. I think the “green mix is about right”. We have added the sulfite to sterilize it and tomorrow we add the yeast and nutrients.

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