Seufert Winery

Friday, September 23, 2005

Last night I stopped by the Coleman's to put the finishing touches on my winery application. I'll be a tenant of their winery; what the TTB describes as an "alternating premise." Therefore, I needed information from them to complete my winery application.

However, prior to working on the paperwork, we took a tour of the wine they have in barrels. We did have a specific goal in mind; I wanted to get a sense of the variation possible by using different yeasts for fermentation and different barrels.

Earlier in the day, I picked up BGY yeast, which is a strain that was isolated in the Burgundy region of France. Based on the tastings, I like this option. It results in elegant, well balanced wine.

However, I'm attracted to the idea of splitting the grapes into 2 batches and using a second yeast. I could choose one with a different, yet complementary flavor profile. I would then blend these wines together before bottling.

I'm leaning towards BM45. This yeast comes from Italy, but it works well on Pinot Noir. It adds depth and what Randy described as "bass notes" to the wine. I think I'll pick up some BM45 as well.

We were also tasting to make a decision on barrels. The main decision I need to make is how much new oak I want to use for my wine. Other Oregon winemakers are all over the board - ranging from no new oak all the way to 100% new oak. I'll be somewhere in between, probably in the 25%-50% range.

It's very late in the year to be looking for new oak barrels, but I did that today. It sounds like a couple of Oregon wineries over-purchased, so there are a few available. However, the barrels are a little unique, having been made for a particular winemaking style. I'm not sure those are for me.

I did locate and commit to a couple of half barrels from Francois Freres. These are medium toast from the Allier forest. Now I need to decide if I want a second new barrel in addition to these, or if I should just use "once-used" barrels for the rest of the wine.


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