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2022 Chardonnay

Crush 2022 is upon us, and I have staters my wine making.  The begining of September has seen one of the hottest periods I have seen here in California.  Add that to being 73 this July, I have continued with not picking my own grapes any more.  Also have been looking at not crushing my own also.

Also following my recent trends has lead back to making Chardonnay which I got from Delta Packing in Lodi.

10 Septmber 2022

Besides fresh grapes, Delta Packing also sells crushed and pressed juice.  I bought 5 pails of Chardonnay, each approximately 6 gallons.

2022 Chardonnay Pails

The juice looks great, but only time will tell.

 Juice 2022 Chardonnay

 I picked up the pails in Lodi on Thursday 8 September 2022 at about 11:00 AM (it was already over 90 oF when I left (it hit 110 oF at my house that afternoon).  The 5 pails were about 60 pounds (weight) each and had a total of about 30 gallons of juice (for all five).  The best part was the price of $250 ($50 ech). 

They were not frozen (do not know if they sell frozen pails and did not ask). So that afternoon started my work on them.

Once open the first thing I did was stir them to make sure anything that settled was distibuted in the pails.  Inital reading were:

Pail 1 2 3 4 5
Temp 54 54 54 54 54
SG 1.100 1.100 1.100 1.100 1.100
Brix 25 25 25 25 25
pH 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.45

As usual I got wine additives and yeast from More Wine.

I then added:

1 tsp Potassium metabisulate to help with any bacteria and unwanted yeast and 2 tsp TAN250 Tannin FT Blanc Soft and 4 tsp AD356 Opti-White. Stirring them each in.

Then 5 hours later I added 4 tsp AD343 Go-ferm Protect to each, and to 3 1 packet each DYW38 Dry Wine Yeast - RC212 and to 2 1 packet each DYW56 Dry Wine Yeast - ICV-D47.

I chose those as I have had good luck with them. As to the additives, I was late in getting them and the pre-made packets of additives from More Wine were not available. 

7 October 2022

Hard to believe it has a month already.  While others are still picking, I just finished my second racking.  on 17 September I racked from the buckets to glass carboys.  5 at 5 gallon and 1 at 3 gallon.  Taste was fruity and smooth, so I am not going to use malolactic fermentation.  on 21 September I added 1 teaspoon of  calcium bentonite to each and stirred.

Today (7 October) I racked again to clean carboys again 5 at 5 gallon and 1 at 3 gallon.  Due to lees left behind they are not as full, but I plan to rack again in a couple of weeks and will top off then.

On racking I added 1 teasponn of calcium bentonite (for haze and lees consolidation) to each.  I also added kiesol to each and stirred in with the racking.  An  hour later (longer for some) I added chitosan and stirred gently.

Still smells good.

26 October 2022

On 26 October I racked from the 5  5-gallon carboys to 4 6-gallon carboys and mixed at 1/4 of each 5-gallon to each 6-gallon.  Topped off with some of the 3-gallon carboy. 

2022 Chardonnay in 6gal

In December the Contra Costa Wine Group has their Nuveau night, so bottled 2 bottles for that tasting.  The remainder of the 3-gallon went to a 1-gallon jug for future top off.

Also added 1/2 teaspoon (~2.5 g) KSO2 to each 6 gallon.

21 April 2023

By April the wine and myself were ready for bottling.  After a careful look at my existing wine storage (pretty full of previous vintages -blasted COVID), I decide to only bottle 12 gallons or 2 carboys.  Got 5 cases at 13.9 ABV.  Took the other 2 carboys and distlled them and made brandy a month later.

This year (2023) need to think through how much to make or start giving out my wine.



MIke Albrecht, P.E.

Or my excursion into winemaking

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