RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Nothin' Much Happenin'

So it's been a while since my last post. That's because, mainly, there hasn't been much new news for the winemaking. The blackberry wines are still in secondary, the Carm/Cab and Strawberry wines are still in aging.

I've got a pH Meter and a Refractometer on they way to me, and I need to order a fermenter, some BM45 Yeast, some MLF, and some Stavin Oak Cubes for the Cab Franc grapes.

Speaking of those, this weekend, I will be up at my parents in Kernersville, and I plan to stop by Medley Meadows Vineyard in King, where I've sourced my grapes from. Randy Fulk, the owner, will be there to show me around the vineyard, and we'll probably talk grapes and wines for a while.

I can't wait to meet my little berries! I'll check on them and see how far along they are in Veraison, and see what Randy approximates as harvest time. There's a cold front moving through the area today and tomorrow, and it's carrying some rain with it, so that could push back harvest a few days, as rainfall will almost immediately affect the Brix and acid levels in grapes.

Personally, I'm sick and tired of this hot weather, but evidently, the grapes generally like it. They ripen better and get sweeter in the dry, hot weather. It might actually have been a little bit too hot as one winegrower recently told me. He said hot days and cool nights are best, but it hasn't even been anywhere close to cool around here lately!

So, we'll see. I'll report back on the condition of the grapes once I've met them!


Blogger La Gramiere said...

Hi Rob,

We use a refractometer and test the acidity in the grapes, but the most important thing we do is taste the grapes every couple of days to evaluate the evolution of the flavors. It's the very best way to be sure, afterall, you're going to be drinking the wine, not analyzing the chemical compounds, right?

Best, Amy

11:34 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by!

From what I understand, you're 100% spot on about tasting. I wish I lived close enough to my grapes to taste them often!

You know, until recently, I had only tasted table grapes from the grocery store. But one day they had Concords there. Now I know Concords supposedly don't make the best wine, but it completely opened my eyes to how different fresh grapes can taste. I couldn't have imagined that flavor before (well, I guess I could have imagined it from jelly and candy and juice, but for some reason I always thought that they added something else to make it taste that way. I guess I've never been one to develop easy theories when there are much more difficult ways!)

4:28 PM  

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