The Dornfelder experiment

Today’s Dornfelder harvest was a difficult decision. It’s a variety harvested quite a bit later usually so there is not an impressing load of sugar in the berries at this point. But the first grapes started rotting and the rest felt so ripe! Berries were falling to the ground when touching the grapes. The pulp was soft and juicy. Just look at them:

Dornfelder grapes

Maybe the alcohol is going to be relatively low. And the acid solid. Maybe we could have waited another week. But maybe rot and birds would have led to more grapes like this:

Dornfelder is liked a lot by the birds

The yield was pretty low anyway due to the frost we had in spring. I’ll do the math when it’s in the barrel but it won’t be much. Probably half of what I had hoped for.

It was a sunny day at least, the soil is finally dry-ish. The vineyard is very steep and I was carrying all the grapes on my back down to the box. An exhausting piece of work.

Our Dornfelder vineyard

Back in the winery there was only one thing left to do before the box went down to the cellar.

Michael crushing grapes

It was a warm day so fermentation will be kicking in quickly. I won’t leave it on the skins for too long, maybe a week or so. The tannins probably should remain moderate matching the lighter style of the wine.

So this is our second little experiment for this year. Tomorrow we’ll be harvesting Wanderlust – it’s getting serious!

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