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Nicole Bertotti Pope, 2010-2014
August 10, 2012 | Harvest, Production, Winegrowing | Nicole Bertotti Pope, 2010-2014

Grape Sampling

This week we started grape sampling our Pinot Noir blocks in West Rincon and Rosemary’s Vineyards.    Now that we are at nearly 90% veraison (almost all the pinot berries have changed color from green to purple), it’s time to start watching the sugar and acid levels to determine when each block is ready to be harvested.

Our harvest intern, Patrick, spends the early mornings walking the vineyard rows of 10 to 20 different blocks to sample a mix of grape clusters that accurately represent the maturity of each block.  Once the grapes arrive at the winery they go through a mini crusher and are strained into beakers to be tested in the lab.  We measure sugar levels in degrees Brix using a digital densitometer and we measure acidity with a pH meter. Check out our video with our Assistant Vineyard Manger, Travis Monk.

Rosemary’s Vineyard is the furthest along, with a few blocks at 22 Brix and a pH of 3.05, putting us just a couple weeks away from harvest.    Generally we pick our Pinot at around 25 Brix and a pH of 3.4, but our picking decisions are not made just by looking at the numbers.  Flavor maturity, tannin development and visual cues in the vineyard are all key factors in the decision-making before every pick.


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@ Jan 29, 2013 at 9:25 PM
The bottles are then angled downwards gradually, until they end up completely inverted. Inverting the bottles allows the yeast to compact itself into the neck of the bottle for later removal. When it's time to remove the sediment, the bottle neck is frozen, the cap is removed and the frozen sediment plug gets removed. Once this process is complete, the bottle is ready to be filled with wine and have the cork placed in it. Thanks. Regards,

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green coffee bean
@ Feb 4, 2013 at 2:06 AM
To start primary fermentation yeast may be added to the must for red wine or may occur naturally as ambient yeast on the grapes or in the air. Yeast may be added to the juice for white wine. Thanks.

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