Time to make some Silvaner

Bad news first: this years harvest was not particularly good. Too much rain so not the healthiest grapes and no chance to wait till November so they can ripen as long as I hoped they could. I was quite concerned to be frank: while the Regent is developing really nicely it’s going to be the Silvaner which will have to be our flagship and fingerprint wine. It’s simply THE variety of this region and we have a great organic vineyard to work with.

Thank god it’s looking better than I thought. We harvested the nine lines reserved for our first try on October 22nd. Rot had accelerated dramatically the day before so many grapes looked like this:

Fresh rot

Fresh rot is not that much of a problem and I sorted out what I disliked standing next to my box on the trailer adding dry ice (still scared of oxidation …)

My Silvaner box

We de-stemmed and got the mash back in the box and the box back in the cellar. I also got some juice to the lab and was satisfied with the results: 12.13% of natural alcohol (that’s the projection) and a solid acidity with 8.6 g/l.

Fermentation kicked in quickly so it was again time to look after the mash several times a day avoiding it to dry at the surface.

Mashing my Silvaner

But there was not a single day we tasted something we didn’t like. So on October 30th we got it back to the lab and actually achieved over 12% of alcohol. Sweet. So after 8 days it was time to press again, the last time of the year. We worked gently again with a pressure of only 0.5 bar and got something like 300l of wine.

Freshly pressed Silvaner

Not a lot. I had hoped for more. But it will be enough for a start. And now the only thing missing is an old wooden barrel that fits the quantity. Not that easy to find one for white wine but we finally found one and I will pick it up tomorrow. And then it’s going to be time to wait and let it calm down and ripen.

Sadly the harvest day was also the day Melanie became seriously sick. Poor mummy. She had to stay at the hospital for a week with me taking care of Oskar instead of the grapes and then trying as good as I could to take care of both while Melanie was recovering at home. It’s still painful but getting better. Our boy is doing well by the way – say hi Oskar:

Oskar saying hi

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