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The 2012 harvest is starting to feel like the TWO harvests of 2012. There has been such a gap between the harvesting of the whites and the reds it feels like we started, stopped, and now get to start again. Not such a bad thing really, just another year with its own quirks.
While we continue to wait on the bulk of the reds, the whites we harvested a couple of weeks ago are beginning to complete their fermentations. Often fermentation ends when there is no more sugar to ferment, in other cases when we want to keep a little touch of sweetness in the wine we have to “arrest” the fermentation. There are a number of ways to do that, but the real trick is not how but when!! Because fermentation is a continuous process, choosing the right moment to stop it is like trying to hit a moving target. When it gets close, like we are with the Sauvignon Blanc today, we retest the brix (sugar levels) and taste the wine every couple of hours until we feel the balance is right. Then we chill it down rapidly and hope we got it right. We won’t know for several weeks after that if we got it just right but it does give us a reason to taste a lot of Sauvignon Blanc during that time. A touch stressful? Of course! Fun to drink wine at work? Most certainly!