For a absolute wine lover, words cannot express the feeling of accomplishment of being able to get filthy in your own grapes and having 50L of your own sitting in a couple of vats! There was a little bit of fist pumping after a long day and finishing up at 11:15pm!
The majority of fruit picked was Shiraz with a small parcel of Grenache. With this I decided to make a 100% Shiraz and a co-fermented Shiraz (90%) and Grenache (10%) blend.
Baume levels were tested after picking and came to 12.8. I then returned to Brivegas with 69.6 kgs of fruit to begin the process of making wine. All the fruit was destemmed by hand and crushed by hand. The foot trod method was attempted but I figured a hand crush would do the job a little more efficiently - and quickly. The must was poured into the vat and then grape skins were placed in my hand press - aka fly screen! I then gave the fruit a gentle squeeze through the fly screen to maximise the fruit. The skins were then tipped into the vat and the process repeated. And did I repeat that process!
Approximately 25L of each was put in the vats and a long day was put to bed. The morning saw the yeast prepared and added to the fruit. Quantities of DAP (dissolved in 100mL of water) and acid were also added. An addition of Tannin was mixed through once a day for four days - only 1.25g per 25L vat.
The yeast was humming along for 6 days and then began to slow down. It was decided on Day 7 of fermentation to press the skins off. After pressing off I was left with about 17 L of each wine. The garage floor looked like a murder scene...
Here are some pictures documenting this epic journey which enabled me to live the dream! Many thanks to my great friends Luke from Clovely Estate and Nick from Barambah who made this all possible. Your support and advice has been tremendous!
I was fortunate to get Luke to have a look at the wine before Malo and I was very proud when he said my wines had Umami! He added he'd be pleased to have 10 000L of this stuff in his winery. Some massive fist pumps were going on at that moment!
So to this point, we await the completion of Malolactic Fermentation before adding French Oak chips.
"Loving the journey!"