Side projects: Schwarzriesling Pet-Nat and a wine for the wedding

After a roller coaster harvest everybody starts to calm down. Perfect for a couple of super small projects to work on. Firstly there is Schwarzriesling Pet-Nat in the making. An experiment. You might have read about the low yield we got out of this parcel so after racking we got about 80l of wine with a good amount of residual sugar. A good quantity to learn something about bubbles. Lacking a suitable bottle capper for crown caps I drove to a winery specialized in sparkling wine production. With empty bottles, the wine and a little hose I was allowed to sit in a corner, fill the bottles and use the bottle capper. That worked well.

I was told though after finishing that it likely won’t work out in the end. Sparkling wine requires 24 g/l of sugar before the bottle fermentation kicks in to get the pressure right. I was a little over 30 g/l so the bottles might explode. The pressure might go up to 8 bar while the bottles can handle about 6 bar. Also I had chilled the wine 24 h before bottling and this might lead to the yeasts having lost their will to work. A year ago I would have probably freaked out. For a conventional sparkling wine you might have added something like the EC-1118 power yeast. My good wild yeast strains will behave a little different I think. I’m sure they’ll start working again at some point and I hope that they’ll just stop when the pressure gets too high.

Schwarzriesling Pet-Nat in the making

Now the bottles lie in a corner of the cellar (so the lees don’t dry in the bottleneck) and we’ll wait and see what happens.

Project number two is a lot simpler but – at least for us – not less exciting. A few weeks ago we bought a 30l barrel made of oak from the Franconian woods. I filled it with hot water several times and then filled it with 30l of our Perle so the wood could get rid of the dominant flavor we don’t appreciate. From my father’s Grauburgunder harvest – an organic vineyard – I put aside enough for the barrel to be filled. It fermented slow but constantly for a week or so before I put it in its new home. Here it is, our wedding wine:

Our wedding wine

It will stay there till next summer when Melanie and I will get married. It’s made for that day exclusively and I’m sure the wedding party will succeed in emptying it.

Tomorrow is our last pressing day – I’ll keep you posted!

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