Here’s the merlot status so far:
I drove to northern Sonoma county (Kenwood) Monday morning to get the grapes. I got to downtown Sonoma at about 6:00, had some coffee there, and then drove up highway 12 for another 20 minutes or so to the vineyard.
Morrison Vineyard is the most beautiful place in the world. Ian Morrison, the owner of the vineyard, grows only Merlot, and he does it very well. He’s also a very nice man.
After chatting with Ian for a while, I walked the vineyard. The grapes were ripe and delicious. The yield per vine was definitely much lower towards the top of the hill, and I think I preferred the taste of the grapes at the bottom of the hill.
The picking crew started picking at about 8:00, and I had my grapes loaded into the truck by 9:00. I drove back to Sacramento, and arrived back at the winery at around 11.
24.5 – 25 brix (depending on testing method)
After crush (thanks Priscila, Sam, Jim, Zach, and Dave for your help!) I added enzymes and potassium metabisulphite.
Tuesday, I threw 20lbs of dry ice on the grapes.
Wednesday, Margaret and Priscila put 20 more lbs on.
Wednesday night, the must temperature was 50 degrees. I added superfood, followed by yeast, and 800g of tartaric acid. My goal is to get the pH down to about 3.4.
Thursday, I added 2 lbs of untoasted oak chips (in a nylon straining bag).
Friday morning, fermentation was underway, but slow. I added my phase 2 superfood and DAP addition.
Everything’s looking great, and I’m very excited about this wine.