Zin is Fin

October 7, 2011

Well, happily enough the Monte Rosso Zinfandel has finished its’ primary fermentation! The sugars have been dropping rapidly all week in this tank, and finally today we got a negative Brix (more later today on what that means, exactly), telling us that it was time to stop doing pumpovers on the Zin and get ready to press it out.

One reason to scale back your pumpovers at the end of a fermentation is that, as the juice turns into wine and the alcohol increases, the skins may start to break down somewhat, which could release harsh flavors into the wine, or simply create a lot of pulp that would complicate processing down the line. We actually decided to only do one pumpover yesterday, while the wine was still slightly sweet, to avoid this problem.

Another reason to pull back on pumpovers towards the end is that when red grapes are almost done fermenting, the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the yeast markedly decreases. Since the carbon dioxide is what buoys the skins up to form the cap, this means that towards the end the cap may sink down into the juice. This makes pressing the tank out considerably more difficult, so we avoid pumping over at this stage to keep from pushing the cap back down into the juice.

For now we’ll leave the Monte Rosso Zinfandel alone, sitting in Tank 7 with its’ cap, hopefully, intact. We are planning to press it out tomorrow, so be sure to check back Monday to see how pressing out red grapes is done!
To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.

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