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Crush 2013 - Whites

Sept  2013

On Friday 30 August 2013, I drove over to Delta Packing in Lodi (~55 miles away) to pick up 9 lugs of Chardonnay and 9 lugs of Viognier grapes.  Each lug is about 36 pounds. But, after a little confusion, as they were starting to load my vehicle (a Ford Transit Connect, great for hauling things around), I counted 27 lugs instead of the 18 I was expecting.  After some discussions, it turned out that there was a slight miscommunication with the   ordering department.  I had asked about the availability of Pinot Gris, and this then ended up on the shipping order.  Needless to say, instead of ~650 pounds of grapes, I had almost 1000 pounds.  The shipping department said that was what I ordered and they could not take them back, once they left the cold storage.

I drove home and put the grapes in my study to help keep them cool (it was going to be 90oF by mid-afternoon).   By the time I got back home, finished sanitizing the equipment, it was close to 1:30 PM, so I started crushing the Pinot Gris as they were in the front.  It took almost 2 hours to crush the Pinot Gris, and by then I was tired.  I had wanted to do a cold soak on them anyway, so I brought them back inside in two 20 gallon food grade containers, which I also use for primary fermentation.  I added some potassium meta-bisulphate for overnight.

2013 White Grapes

The next morning (Saturday 31 August 2013), I pressed the Pinot Gris, and crushed and pressed the Viognier and Chardonnay.  I had a slight accident with the Viognier and lost about three quarters of a lug when the hand cart I was using to bring out a stack slight off the edge of the concrete (and yes I was not watching where I was going).  Other than that Saturday was just a long hard day.

In the end I got about 25 gallons of Pinot Gris, 10 gallons of Viognier and 15 gallons of Chardonnay.  The Pinot Gris was noticeably juicier than the other two.

To each ~5 gallons I Added

          • AD356 — Opti-White - (15g)

          • TAN250 — Tannin FT Blanc Soft - 3 g

          • AD342 — Go-Ferm (10 g)

Also to the Pinot Gris (which had a slight pink color from the cold soak I added (to each ~ 5 gallons)

          • TAN220 — FT Rouge - 10 g

          • AD355 — Opti-Red - (8 g)

I the added the yeast.  Since I had two containers of each type, to one container I added ENOFERM QA23 And to the other I added ICV-Opale.

2013 White in Primary

Now to let it ferment for about a week.

Note to self - only ONE type of grape at a time, and NEVR more than500 pounds!!

Sept  2013

This weekend I racked the wine to start clarification.

Here are the initial readings from when I started.

Initial Readings

Pinot Gris
    SG         1.1
    Bx         24
    pH        3.54

End SG . 0.996

    SG         1.11
    Bx         26o
    pH        3.74
Add ~ 2 g/l of Tartaric acid to Chardonnay at first racking.
Will wait to test pH in a week.

End SG. 0.998

    Sg         1.11
    Bx        26o
    pH       3.38

End SG    0.995

Next weekend I plan to check all the chemistry and adjust for aging. I took the oak off the Chardonnay, and may add more latter. May also look at adding some oak to the Pinot Gris.

Dec  2013

Boy, I have not been keeping this up very well this year.  I just completed a third racking for clarification today (28 Dec 13).  I have been tasting the wine and it is comeing along fine.  Need to spend more time degassing though.  I have a hunch that may be what has been causing some of my bottle schock.

I did balance the chemistry about two months ago, but did not add oak to the Pinot Gris, as it did not need it.

The room I have been keeping the wine in has been fairly cool (~ 50 oF) and I have been getting a fair amount of sediment, should improve the clarity of the final product.

Will probably bottle in two months (End of Fenruary or early March).

much latter

Not every year works out, and this was definetly not a good year in fact it was a bust. The pinot gris and viognier seem to have gotten something, turned brown and had a yeasty taste.  The chardonnay is drinkable, but not worth sharing.  (NOTE added much much later - determined the issue was protein haze mostly, from improper fining.)

Took the 11 cases of wine (pinot gros, viognier, and blend) and turned them into 6 gallons of 75% ethanol.  Added some medium American oak to 3 gallons, and leaving 3 gallons un-oaked.  See discusions in other topics on brandy).


MIke Albrecht, P.E.

Or my excursion into winemaking

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