Seufert Winery

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pinot Blanc

I brought my Pinot Blanc grapes out of the freezer and processed them recently.

There were enough grapes to fill the small basket press one time. It took the better part of a day from start to finish, largely due to the fact that the grapes were pretty solid.

By the end of the day, I ended up with 20 gallons of juice. I put it in 4 five gallon carboys. The first 5 gallons pressed off at an incredible 41 degrees Brix (percent sugar). The next 15 gallons average around 25 degrees Brix. Armed with this info, I decided to head 2 different directions with this wine.

The 5 gallons first will make a late harvest dessert wine. At 5 gallons, it’s a tiny batch. But, it could turn out to be wonderful. Potentially, I can match the profile of the best Canadian ice wines with 10% alcohol and residual sugar in the ~23% range. Yummm.

The second batch of 15 gallons will be made into a dry Pinot Blanc (no residual sugar). Again, a tiny batch (less than 6 cases of wine).

At a minimum these are fun experiments. And who knows, they might just come out as delicious wines. Either way, the effort going into these wines is crazy… It’s a lot of hands on work to produce very small batches.

I’ll post some pics of the pressing process soon – some of the shots came out quite nice.

So it’s official – Seufert Winery will have 3 releases from the 2005 vintage (I hope!):
  • Pinot Noir, Coleman Vineyard
  • Pinot Blanc, Bellevue Vineyard
  • Late Harvest Pinot Blanc (botrytis), Bellevue Vineyard

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Come taste our wine in the barrel. Send us an email to schedule a tasting.

If you like our wine, purchase futures today.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Moving into oak barrels…

I spent yesterday at the winery moving my wine from the fermentation tanks into oak barrels.

The basic process is divided into a couple of steps – press wine and free-run wine.

For the press wine:
- Skim off the floating cap of grapes skins
- Place these into the small wine press – filling the press
- Inflate the internal bladder, lightly pressing the skins
- Catch the run-off in a bucket and pump this into a segregated barrel

For free-run wine:
- Place the “torpedo” into the wine – this is a long stainless steel filter/screen that reaches the bottom of the fermentation tank. It prevents stray skins from being pumped into the barrels.
- Insert the pump feed hose inside this filter
- Insert the filling valve into the selected barrel
- Pump the wine from the tank and into the barrel, being careful to not overfill.
- Move to the next barrel and continue until the wine has been transferred.

Based on expected juice yield rates, I expected to get around 3.5 barrels of wine. However, I have good news. Even though we didn’t press the skins very hard, I got 4.5 barrels of wine. This is excellent news. This means there will be more wine available for you and your friends; this is a difference of 25 cases!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fermentation is almost complete.

I made a trip to the winery tonight to check my numbers. The temps are coming down - recording a drop of 10 degrees over two days. And, fermentation is drawing to a close. Specific Gravity readings came in at 1003 and 1001 for tanks 1 and 2 respectively. These translate to less than 1% sugar remaining.

Fermentation will complete tomorrow, and we'll transfer the young wine from the plastic fermentation bins into the oak barrels. The wine will spend the next year or more in these barrels, slowly transforming into a polished fine wine.


I got a call from Kim Coleman today, to discuss acid levels.

We’ve been puzzled by mysteriously low acid levels during cold soak and primary fermentation. Her fermentations have finished, and she had the lab run acid numbers on all of her lots. Surprise – the acid levels bumped up to the expected range.

So now we’re speculating why.

Her thoughts are that due to our low cold soak temps, that the natural acids bound to the potassium – changing the chemical composition. This change in chemical state “masked” the acids. Fermentation released these acids so they are now measurable. Well, that’s the theory. If you have better ideas, please share them.

Regardless, this is good news since the acid levels are now in the expected range.

My wine is a couple of days behind hers in the fermentation process. Once my fermentation is complete, I’ll test my acid levels to confirm that I got a bump as well. Keep your fingers crossed.

Blog Directory - Blogged